What You Need to Know About Termites in Alaska

Alaska is the only state in the U.S. that does not have termites, but faces wood damage from carpenter ants instead.
Written by Payton Ternus
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
There is only one state in the U.S. that does not have any termites—
homeowners need to be wary of carpenter ants instead.
Wood destroying insects are common in Alaska, and homeowners must be vigilant to catch signs of an infestation. Insects like carpenter ants can cause serious damage to homes if they are not caught early on.
Fortunately, car and
home insurance
broker and comparison app
has gathered everything you need to know about wood-eating insects and termites—or the lack thereof—in Alaska.
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How to tell if you have an infestation

While you don’t have to worry about termites like the rest of the country, you will still need to keep an eye out for carpenter ants in your home. If an infestation is not caught early on, these destructive insects can cause serious damage to the structures of your home.
Here are the warning signs of an infestation to watch for:
  • Dark red or black ants: The ants may be found in, on, or around your home.
  • Wood shavings: There may be piles of wood shavings around wooden areas like door jambs, windowsills, or baseboards.
  • Long ant trails: Carpenter ants travel long distances to transport food to their nest.
  • Rustling noises: Carpenter ants make noise as they scrape out wood shavings.
  • Winged ants or discarded wings: These may be found near cracks, crevices, windows, or vents.
Damage from carpenter ants will be harder to find because it will be inside the wood. These ants do not actually eat wood—instead, they spit it out to tunnel through it.

Are termites a problem in Alaska?

Not at all! Alaska is actually the only state in the entire U.S. that does not have termites. However, wood-destroying insects are common pests found in The Last Frontier.
If you’re a homeowner in Alaska, particularly in the rainforests of the southeast, you’ll need to protect your home against carpenter ants.

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants are valuable insects on the planet. They create sawdust by chewing up wet, deadwood, which then turns into compost. Unfortunately, they are destructive when it comes to man-made structures with any level of water damage and can inflict significant damage to your home.
While termites eat wood from the outside in, carpenter ants do not actually eat wood. They chew it up and spit it out to tunnel through the wood itself. 

What to do if you have carpenter ants

There are a few things you can do to protect your home if you find an infestation of carpenter ants, including
  • Seal any cracks
  • Seal plumbing and electrical lines
  • Store firewood away from your home and up off the ground
  • Inspect any firewood before you bring it into your house
  • Regularly clean out your gutters to avoid water damage
  • Move logs, wood, and tree stumps away from your house
  • Fix any leaks or cracks in sealant, roofing, and pipes

How to save money on your home insurance

Unfortunately, most
homeowners insurance
policies will not cover insect infestations. The best way for you to protect your home in Alaska is to learn how to spot the warning signs and treat them as soon as possible.
On a positive note, you’ll be able to rely on your homeowners policy for other perils. It’s important to cover your home with the right insurance policy. When you use Jerry for your home insurance needs, you can be sure you’re getting the best deal on the market (and save on
car insurance
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Carpenter ants are a very common pest in Alaska, particularly near the rainforests in the southeastern region. They are drawn to wood with any level of water damage.
You should take preventative measures to avoid a carpenter ant infestation, and treat your home as often as needed.
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