Do You Have Termites or Flying Ants?
With spring just around the corner, it’s nearly swarming insect season! Flying ants, known as carpenter ants, can cause a lot of damage with their wood-boring abilities. As wood-destroying insects, these two are feared by property owners across the North Bay and East Bay Areas. In the swarming stage of their lives, they are commonly mistaken for one another. However, termites can be much more of a threat. Read on to learn top tips from the experts at The Hitmen Termite & Pest Control on how to tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants.
Habits of Termites & Carpenter Ants
Although they both destroy wood, termites and carpenter ants cause different damage.
- Carpenter Ants
- Establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids.
- The galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded.
- For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.
- 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.
- Termites are significantly more dangerous than the carpenter ant, as they can cause much more damage in a short period of time.
What do Termites or Flying Ants Look Like?
As swarmers, it’s easy to mix these two up. However, termite swarmers are slightly smaller than carpenter ants and have longer wings! Some of the main things to remember about their appearance include:
- Carpenter ant swarmers are black in color or occasionally red. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ant swarmers are bigger than termite swarmers!
- Termite swarmers are black to brown in color 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 the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.
How to Get Rid of Wood-Destroying Insects for Good
If you have termites or carpenter ants, you’re going to need help to get rid of them! The best defense against a wood-destroying insect infestation is to get annual inspections from a professional pest control company such as The Hitmen. Our termite exterminators will thoroughly inspect your home and help protect you from termites and carpenter ants all year long.