To most people, ants and termites look alike. There are even some types of ants that cause damage to wood. So, you may think that termites and ants are the same type of insect. Despite their physical resemblance, the two insects are actually very distinct. In this blog, we will explain the differences between ants and termites.

How to tell the difference between Ants and Termites

While ants and termites look alike from a distance, up close they have visible differences. They have different body shape, antennae, wings, and body color. Combined, these factors can help you determine whether you have an ant problem or a termite problem.

Ants have well-defined, narrow waists. Termites do not have a waist. Instead, their bodies are rectangular.

Both insects have antennae. However, while the carpenter ant has bent antennae, the termite’s antennae are straight and beaded.

What are the differences between Carpenter Ants and Termites?

Carpenter ants and termites may have wings. We say may have wings because both types of insects can lose their wings. In fact, termites will lose their wings after swarming. Female carpenter ants lose their wings after mating. However, if they have their wings, they look different. Both of them have four wings. A termite’s wings are all of equal size and shape. They are also longer than their body. In contrast, a carpenter’s back wings are shorter than its front wings. In addition, the wings are not longer than the body.

Generally, termites are paler than carpenter ants. Worker ants are usually red or dark-colored, while termites are pale, and can even be transparent.

What are the behavioral characteristics of Ants and Termites?

The two types of insects behave differently, as well. Carpenter ants forage in the open for food. Termites stay hidden, except during swarm season. If you are seeing the insects out in the open, they are probably carpenter ants.

Of course, they have behavioral similarities as well. Some ants, like carpenter ants, can damage your home’s wood as much or more than termites. While termites feed on wood, carpenter ants nest in the wood. Termites will infest any type of wood, while carpenter ants prefer damaged or moist wood.

You do not have to identify whether you have ants or termites. One or our Flick pest control professionals can do that for you. Knowing what type of pest you have is important because the treatments for carpenter ants and termites are not the same. Identifying what pests you have and selecting the right treatment for prevention or extermination is an important part of our pest control inspections and services. Call Flick Today!

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