When it comes to wood-destroying insects, both termites and carpenter ants can cause a lot of damage. They’re also commonly mistaken for one another! In the swarmer stages of their lives, they look quite similar and also swarm at the same time of the year. Although they are both destructive, these wood-boring insects are quite different. To learn about the many differences between carpenter ants and termites, read on for tips from the experts at Western Exterminator of Las Vegas.
How are Termites Different than Carpenter Ants?
As swarmers, carpenter ants and termites are very easy to misidentify as the other. The best way to differentiate them is to look at their size and their wings:
- Carpenter ant swarmers. These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ants are by far the biggest ant species in the nation.
- Termite swarmers. These termites are dark brown to black, and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is an easy visual clue to differentiate them from carpenter ants.
The Damage Caused by Wood-Destroying Insects
Both of these insects can be very dangerous and destructive, but one is more of a threat than the other. Carpenter ants typically establish their nests in decayed wood and then later expand into undamaged wood, insulation, or wall voids. Their damage is not always visible, but the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded down.
Established termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day. These wood-destroying insects find their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil. Without a doubt, termites are capable of causing a lot more damage in a short amount of time than carpenter ants.
Carpenter Ants or Termites?
If you think you have wood-destroying insects in your home or business, it’s best to act quickly and contact a professional pest control company. The termite exterminators at Western Exterminator of Las Vegas know the differences between carpenter ants and termites that can help determine the type of infestation you’re dealing with. From there, we will implement the most effective, fast-acting termite or carpenter ant control methods to protect your property.