Are Those Carpenter Ants Or Termites?

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image of a termite and a carpenter ant

Whether carpenter ants or termites have invaded your home, one thing is for certain, they should be eliminated as quickly as possible. Although for two very different reasons. If given the chance, both of these insects will invade your home and damage the structural wood found inside. In order to prevent any uninvited remodeling from occurring in your home, the experts at Thomas Pest Services want to provide you with some helpful information about both carpenter ants and termites.

Carpenter ants are also referred to as big black ants, though they can be reddish, black or a combination of both in color. Workers can range in size from 1/8-1/2 of an inch in length, and queens can grow up to an inch in length. Termites are a much smaller species of insect. Workers grow up to about 1/8th of an inch in length and are whitish-cream colored and have a soft body. Understanding which species you have invading your home is the first step to stopping them.

Listed below are some more similarities and difference between termites and carpenter ants.

  • The waist of the carpenter ant is pinched in, while the termite's waist is not.

  • The antenna on the flying ants is bent and smooth. The termite's antennae is straight and beaded in appearance.

  • Carpenter ant's bodies are divided into three parts. Termite bodies are divided into two parts.

  • Carpenter ant's forewings are larger than their hind wings. Termite's forewings and hind wings are equally sized.

  • Both are drawn to and invade wood that has had previous water damage.

  • Termites use the wood that they are invading as a food source. Termites EAT the wood. Carpenter ants invade wood in order to create nesting areas. Carpenter ants DO NOT eat the wood.

  • Termite tunnels are messy appearing, containing a lot of soil and mud. Carpenter ants create “neat”, clean tunnels and nesting areas.

Both of these species will leave behind signs that they are in your home, or are nesting somewhere on your property. A carpenter ant invasion is generally found sooner than a termite invasion because the workers can often be seen parading through your home as they forage for food to bring back to the colony. Termites are rarely seen since they are generally under the ground, traveling through mud tubes, or are tunneling on the inside of wood.

Signs of a carpenter ant infestation:

  • Faint rustling noises coming from inside your walls or woodwork.

  • Piles of wood debris on the ground.

  • Seeing winged ants fly from your home’s ceilings, walls, or floors.

Signs of a termite infestation:

  • Mud tunnels that are about the width of a pencil on the ground running towards your home.

  • Painted structural wood or wood fixtures that appear blistered, splintered or weathered.

  • There may be traces of mud on the outside of wood in your home from where the termites have tried to repair holes.

  • Doors and flooring in your home may start to appear warped.

  • Seeing winged termites fly from your home (termite swarm).

If you notice large black ants roaming around your home, or think you are seeing signs of termite damage in your home, you should immediately contact a pest control expert. Experts have the experience and knowledge necessary to quickly inspect your home, determine which species are damaging your home’s structure, and provide the proper treatment. At Thomas Pest Services, we have safe, easy, and effective solutions to treat either of these species through our carpenter ant control services or our termite control services.

For more information about carpenter ants or termites and how we can help to control them around your home, contact us at Thomas Pest Services today!


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