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Carpenter Ants VS Termites. How to Tell the Difference?

Spring is a welcome relief after a cold winter in Alexandria. Less welcome are the swarms of insects that spring brings with it. In spring time, both carpenter ants and termites kick off the mating season by swarming in large groups. The two groups look identical at a glance, but your ability to distinguish between the two could save your home – and your pocketbook. Here are four important differences between carpenter ants and termites:

1. The waist: Termites don’t have waists – their bodies are more rectangular, while the waists of carpenter ants are quite defined.

2. The antennae: The termite’s is straight and beaded, the ant’s is bent.

3. The wings: Look at the swarmers – are their wings of equal size and shape? Are they longer than the body? Those are termites. Carpenter ant hind wings are shorter than its front wings, and are generally as short as its body.

4. The nest: If you’ve discovered the site of the infestation, there will be distinctive differences at the opening of the gallery between carpenter ants and termites. Because carpenter ants don’t eat the wood, you’ll see shavings around the hole where they shoved it out. The tunnels themselves will be very smooth and finished. Termite galleries are rough and messy, often filled with layers of mud.

Termites are definitely the more destructive of the two insects, so if there’s any question, call in the experts at Green Pest Services to get to the root of the problem.