Do I Have Termites or Ants? What Is The Difference?

Posted by bmedia on Friday, May 19, 2017

Wildwoods Pest Control Termites vs Ants

The sun is out and so are the pests! You may notice little insects crawling around your baseboards, cupboards, yard or maybe your noticing little piles of wood debris. If so, you have pests! Are they ants or termites? They can both have wings so it may be difficult to distinguish them from each other. If you are trying to get rid of ants or termites, knowing which pest you’re dealing with will be very helpful.

Carpenter Ants will have a narrow body, bent antennae, and shorter hind wings.

Termites will have a boxy body without any narrowing at the waist, straight and beaded antennae, and equal sized wings. 

Behavioral Differences

Other differences between the termite and the carpenter ant include:

  • Color: Ant workers are reddish or dark-colored and are frequently seen in the open foraging for food. Termite workers, by comparison, are transparent, light or creamy white in color,  and they avoid light. Termites are rarely noticed unless their nest is disturbed.
  • Wing durability: Although reproductives of both types of insects are winged, the wings of the termite fall off easily. The loose wings can often be seen near the opening to the termite nesting site, and can be used to identify a termite infestation.
  • Use of wood: Termites eat the wood in which they nest. Carpenter ants merely dig into the wood to excavate their nests; they do not eat the wood but simply push it out through openings of the galleries of their colonies. Seeing small piles of wood shavings or frass (insect waste) below the holes helps to identify an infestation of carpenter ants. Carpenter ants seek out moist and damaged wood in which to excavate their nests; termites will chew right into sound wood.
  • Tunnel characteristics: The tunnels and galleries of the carpenter ants will be very smooth and finished; termite galleries, by comparison, are rough and ragged because they are filled with layers of soil and mud.
  • Mud tubes: A mud tube indicates the definite presence or previous presence of termites. These are tubes built on the outside of walls or between the soil and wood and serve as the passageways through which the termites travel.

If you need to ants or termites exterminated call 971-219-6681 to schedule a free inspection today.


Click to learn how to get rid of ants or how to get rid of termites.


SRC: Click to learn more about the differences between ants & termites

Categories: Pest Control

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