Carpenter Ants Versus Termites: Tips For Identifying Winged Pests

Do you have a swarm of pests outside your home? Chances are, you are dealing with either termites or carpenter ants; both of these bugs swarm during spring, which is their mating season. It is important to figure out exactly which pest you have, however, because termites can be very destructive and require treatment from professionals. Luckily, there are ways that you can determine the difference between these two bugs.

Examine Their Bodies

Do your best to capture one of the bugs, and examine it closely. If the body does not appear to be segmented, you probably have a termite. If, however, you notice a distinct waist, it is more likely to be a carpenter ant. In addition, the antennae of carpenter ants are bent rather than straight like a termite’s antennae. Finally, all of the termite’s wings are the same shape, but a carpenter ant’s hind wings are smaller than its front wings. An ant is generally darker than a termite as well; termites tend to be light or white whereas ants are reddish.

Observe Their Habits

If you can’t capture a bug, try observing its habits to gain clues instead. Carpenter ants don’t mind going out during the daytime, because it gives them an opportunity to look for food. Termites do not like the sunlight, though, so you are less likely to see them in the sun except under rare circumstances. In addition, termite’s wings are very fragile, so you make see some start to gather near the nesting site.

Carpenter ants and termites can both make a mess of your wood, but they are different in one very major way; termites eat the wood, but carpenter ants simply make holes in it. Because of this, you will often notice wood shavings near the holes if you have carpenter ants, because as they dig, they push the wood out to make their tunnel. In addition, a mud tube is a clear indication that you have termites. You might see one of these on the exterior of a wall or between the wood and the soil in areas where the termites frequent.

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Take Care Of The Problem

Regardless of which pest you are dealing with, you must take immediate steps to correct the problem. For termites, calling in a pest control company is your best option. For carpenter ants, you may be able to get rid of them yourself if you can make your home less attractive to them. However, remember that they can still cause damage to your wood, so you still need to take them seriously. If, after reading the information above, you still aren’t sure if the winged bug is a termite or a carpenter ant, bring a sample to a pest control company. They will help you identify it and explain your treatment options.

Termites cause millions of dollars in damage for homeowners every year. If you have a winged bug flying around your home, take steps to identify it and then treat the problem. Quick action could save you a lot of money.

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Morgan is a proud mother, who enjoys spending her days discovering fun and interesting things to do with her young son. At night, she is an avid writer and solves all her pest problems with the help of a Jersey City pest control company.

Published By Thomas Ballantyne


Thomas Ballantyne is the Director of Marketing with Bulwark Exterminating, an industry leader in providing high quality pest control service. Bulwark is fully operational in seven states, including twelve major cities. While Bulwark provides pest extermination for common insects such as ants, roaches, crickets and spiders, the company’s differentiating aspect is great personalized service. Bulwark uses the finest and most effective products in the world to solve common pest problems.

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