Carpenter ant VS capricorn,
what are the differences?
Do you see holes in your frame beams or on your wooden elements? Your home is likely to be under attack by wood-boring insects. To treat the type of infestation, it is first necessary to diagnose the invasive species. This is the work of the pest management expert. Indeed, the techniques and treatments are not the same according to the insects.
Holes in the wood can be caused by different xylophageal insects: carpenter ants or house capricorns. How can we tell the difference between these two insects? Answer from the exterminator expert…
Carpenter ant or ant spoils wood
These hymenoptera of the Formicidae family dig galleries in the woods in the softest parts. They do not attack the hardest parts and the heart of the wood.
Ants have the quality of being clean and thorough: the tunnels are regularly cleaned. They “sweep” dead insects, food residues, surplus wood waste… They cause them to fall to the ground which forms a pile of sawdust under the anthill’s nest. This is a sign that informs about the presence of carpenter ants in your home.
What to know
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they dig galleries to install their nests or pantry. They therefore reject wood chips outside.
Hantavirus, definition and mode of transmission
Hantavirus is a severe lung syndrome caused by a virus. It is secreted in the urine, feces and saliva of infected animals. Most often these are rodents. When humans come into direct or indirect contact with these secretions, the virus is transmitted to them. Ditto when they are bitten by infected rodents.
However, the virus is not transmitted from human to human, only from animal to human. This type of disease is called zoonoses because they can only be transmitted to humans through an animal. It has been found that domestic animals (apart from the domestic rat) and livestock cannot contract hantavirus so there is every reason to believe that only rodents can carry it.
Symptoms of hantavirus
Being a lung disease, one of the characteristic symptoms of hantavirus is difficulty breathing. At the beginning of the disease, the infected person begins to feel fever, chills, headache and muscle pain.
It is about two weeks after the appearance of the first symptoms that they are usually accompanied by a feeling of shortness of breath. Nevertheless, this last manifestation of the disease can be observed after two days as after six weeks; it depends on the organism of the individual.
Hantavirus can also lead to kidney disease or infection. And although they are rare and very few people are prone to them, there is currently no treatment to combat these ailments. It is therefore better to be careful not to contract them.
The house capricorn
The capricorn(Hylotrupes bajulus) is a beetle insect of the Cerambycidae family whoselarva is xylophagus. It can be confused with the spin or the lyctus. It is not the insect that eats the wood, as is too often believed, but the larvae of capricorns. You can hear them nibbling on the wood.
This is the type of sawdust on the ground that will make the difference with the carpenter ant. The capricorn leaves a fine dust unlike the ant which leaves a large pile of sawdust.
The wood species attacked are mainly the sapwood of softwood (spruce, fir, pine, larch …) and white woods.
In summary, the two main differences that distinguish an invasion of carpenter ants or an infestation of capricorns:
- the texture of sawdust found on the ground: it is finer in the presence of capricorns. Ants leave rougher wood debris
- the presence of white larvae in galleries that nibble on wood: they are capricorn larvae that dig galleries to feed and turn into insects
Carpenter ants and capricorns cause significant damage in wooden structures. It is better to act quickly when you find sawdust fallen from a beam.
Treatment against xylophageal insects
The effective solution is a high-pressure injection treatment. Insect exterminators use high-tech equipment and insecticides registered by the Canadian state.
It is advisable to treat the woods preventively every 10 years in order to maintain a healthy home.
In the case of infestation, a curative treatment is necessary to stop the evolution of the parasite to eradicate it. The treatment also avoids a new re-infestation in the wooden structure.
If you notice a mound of sawdust under a beam, under a staircase or a piece of furniture, it is advisable to call in a pest management expert who specializes in the treatment of xylophageal insects.