Ants and Termites: Know the Differences

Carpenter ants and termites share enough similarities that people often cannot tell the two apart. One similarity they share is the ability to damage the wood of your home. From wooden floorboards to wooden support beams, carpenter ants and termites will destroy it all. Both insects can cause pretty extensive damages, but it is important that you know the differences between the two before you call your local ant control company. 

Carpenter Ant Identification

If you get the chance to inspect the insect closely, you will notice that a carpenter ant has a defined narrow waist. Their antennae also have elbows, or bends in them. You can also easily identify a carpenter ant by its wings. The carpenter ant has four wings, and the back wings are shorter than the front ones. Carpenter ants are also a reddish or dark color.

Termite Identification

When you look at a termite, you will notice that it has no waistline. Instead, the body of a termite has an almost rectangular shape. The termite also has antennae, but they are straight and have a beaded appearance rather than elbows like the carpenter ant. Like the carpenter ant, the termite has four wings. However, their wings are equal and size and are generally longer than the termite’s body. Termites are generally light, creamy colored, or transparent.

Differences in Behaviour

Aside from physical differences, carpenter ants and termites also have many behavioural differences. For instance, the termite eats wood for nutrition. The carpenter ant, on the other hand, gains no nutritional value from wood. Instead, carpenter ants destroy wood so they can build their nests. In fact, carpenter ants do not even eat wood like the termites do.

If you notice tunnels dug into the wood of your home, you must pay attention closely to them. Do they appear rough or smooth? A carpenter ant will dig smooth tunnels, but the tunnels dug by a termite will appear rough because termite layer them with soil and mud.

Make sure you also pay close attention to the openings of the tunnels. Do you notice wings around the openings? If so, it is likely that you have a termite infestation rather than a carpenter ant infestation. A termite has very fragile wings that tend to fall of, which is why you will likely find wings around the openings to their tunnels.

If you see a lot of winged insects, chances are, you have carpenter ants. Worker ants will exit the nest in search of food for the colony. Termites, on the other hand, will remain hidden since they prefer to avoid daylight. Termites typically only emerge from their nest once it is disturbed.

No matter which pest you have invading your home, it is best to call a professional to handle either of them. Both carpenter ants and termites can cause serious damage to your home. However, termites can cause damages to wood rather quickly, whereas it might take years for carpenter ants to create the same level of damage.

At the first sign of an infestation, call a pest control professional near you. A professional can assist you with the removal of ants and termites. They can also identify which one it is that you have in or around your home so they can properly treat and control them.

If you suspect you might have an ant problem, contact the Exterminators: 647-496-2211 to assess the problem and come up with the best solution.

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Joe The Exterminator
Joe The Exterminator

Joe is a professional pest control exterminator with over 15 years of experience and enjoys sharing his knowledge about different pests and how you can deal with them.