The Difference Between Ant and Termite Swarms

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ant and termite damage comparison

With April and spring knocking on our doorstep, so will carpenter ants and termites. As the temperatures climb these spring pests being to awake around the Capital Region including Saratoga Springs. Both, carpenter ants and termites are Wood Destroying Insects and often confused with one another. Our previous blog post discussed the difference between an ant and termite; today we will discuss more differences for Termite Awareness Week.

What do carpenter ant swarms look like?

Carpenter ant swarms are usually observed from late spring to late summer. Carpenter ant swarms occur in smaller numbers than termite. The ant swarming process occurs when the winged male and female ants are released into the environment. An ant colony must be well established before it can produce a swarm and have the right combination of environmental conditions. Carpenter ants are large black ants, with bent antennae, a narrow waist and different size wings.

What do termite swarms look like?

Termite swarms occur when winged reproductive termites leave an established termite colony to mate and form new colonies. A termite swarm is an indication that a termite colony is attempting to spread and establish new colonies. Both male and female termites are approximately the same size with the same size wings about twice as long as their bodies. The presence of termite wings in the home is an indication of termite swarm, which can last anywhere from 30-40 minutes. When termites emerge they will die from dehydration within a few hours if they can not locate soil. Finding termite wings, which fall off soon after they emerge is the result of a termite swarm.

What does carpenter ant damage look like?

Although carpenter ants do not eat wood, carpenter ants can cause serious damage. Carpenter ants excavate cavities to raise young and expand their colony. Carpenter ant galleries meticulously clean because they remove frass (sawdust along with insects parts) from the colony.

What does termite damage look like?

Unlike carpenter ants, termites eat wood and can cause extensive structural damage. In order for termites to survive, termites construct tubes to move in and out of areas. Unlike carpenter ant nets, termite galleries consist of mud and damaged wood.

If you suspect wood destroying insects like carpenter ants or termites have made their way to your home or property, contact Thomas Pest Services. For a free home evaluation and information on ant control or termite control services in Albany, Schenectady, Clifton Park, South Glens Falls along with surrounding New York towns. Trust 3rd Generation Experience!


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