Termites vs. Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants and termites are two wood-destroying insects that are commonly mistaken for one another. Together, they are responsible for some of the most destructive pest infestations each year for homeowners. Swarmers (termites or carpenter ants with wings) are both active around the same time of year and somewhat look alike, but their similarities end there. So how do you tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants? Keep reading for info from the experts at Anderson Pest Solutions!
Differences Between Carpenter Ants and Termites
Unless you’re an experienced pest control expert, it’s very easy to confuse carpenter ants for termites in the swarmer stage of their life. In color, they look very similar. The best way to differentiate the two is to look at their size and specifically, their wings:
- Carpenter ant swarmers
- These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring.
- Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Carpenter ants are by far the biggest ant species in the nation.
- Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant.
- Termite swarmers
- These termites are dark brown to black, and measure 3/8″ long including the wings.
- Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color.
- Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is an easy visual clue to differentiate them from carpenter ants.
Termites vs. Carpenter Ants: Property Damage
Both carpenter ants and termites attack wood, but in different ways. Carpenter ants typically establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids. Their damage is not usually visible. When it is, you can notice that the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded. For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.
Termites find their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil. Established colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day. Needless to say, termites are significantly more dangerous than the carpenter ant, as they can cause much more damage in a short period of time.
Wood-Destroying Insect Extermination
If you’re wondering whether you’ve spotted the signs of termites vs. carpenter ants, it’s important to call the termite exterminators at Anderson Pest Solutions right away. Termites and carpenter ants alike are difficult to control without the expertise of a pest control expert. Our team can thoroughly inspect your Chicago IL home or business for wood-destroying insects and help protect you from termites and carpenter ants year-round!