How do you Tell the Difference Between an Ant and a Termite?

by | Feb 8, 2016 | Single Family Home

How do you tell the difference between an ant and a termite? - Accurate Termite and Pest ControlAt first glance to the untrained eye, carpenter ants and termites appear to be identical. They are after all, colored black and with four wings, and both species swarm to mate (Swarmers are the winged, mostly female ants and termites with the sole purpose to reproduce), live in large colonies and damage the wood in which they nest and/or eat. But that’s where most of the similarities end, as treatment for either species are completely different. Though you’ll likely need the aid of a pest professional to properly identify termites from ants, here are a few pointers just incase you’re wondering what that small, winged ant-like insect in your home could be.

Carpenter Ants: These ants are capable of doing damage to any wood they nest in. If left untreated, these infestations can become severe when left untreated and can develop into satellite colonies ( filled with workers, mature larvae and pupae). You’re less likely to find carpenter ant nests in dry wood, as they prefer moist or rotten environments. Structural areas of the home, such as foam panels, wall voids, hollow doors and windows, are preferable nesting areas. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood and merely dig into the wood to create nests. In addition, carpenter ants:

  • Have a defined and narrow waist, with three distinct segments
  • Have antennae that are bent or “elbowed.”
  • Have has four wings, with the hind wings shorter than its front wings. The wings are pointed, versus rounded.

Termites: Also nicknamed “silent destroyers”, termites have ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper without a peep and each year, cause more than $5 billion in property damage annually. Termite swarmers seeking out a new place to start a colony are typically the first sign of termite season as these winged critters make an appearance in homes in the early spring. Other signs that you might have termites include finding clusters of discarded wings, or small piles of what appears to be sawdust or mud shelter tubes.In terms of their proper identification, termites:

  • Have a boxy, rectangular body with no waist, is divided into two segments.
  • Have straight, beaded antennae.
  • Have four wings that are equally sized and shaped, with wings longer than its body.

CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS TO DEAL WITH AN INFESTATION. If you suspect an ant or termite infestatopm in your house, or are even looking for a preemptive strike against a potential infestation, be sure to contact a licensed pest professional – such as Accurate Termite Control – to inspect and treat any pest issues.

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