Carpenter ants and termites are two wood-destroying insects that are often mistaken for one another. In the swarmer stages of their life cycles, they look very similar and swarm at the same time of the year. Although they both attack wood, one is infamous for being much more destructive than the other. So how do you tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants? Keep reading for info from the exterminators at Dugas Pest Control!
Main Difference Between Termites & Carpenter Ants
- 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. Carpenter ants are by far the biggest ant species in the nation.
- Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant.
- Termite swarmers
- Swarmers 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 feature is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.
The Damage Caused by Wood-Destroying Insects
Both carpenter ants and termites attack wood, but in different ways. Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids. When you notice the damaged wood, the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded. Although they destroy wood, the damage caused by carpenter ants does not amount to the potential damage of a termite infestation.
Termites find their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil. Established colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day. Bottom line, termites are significantly more dangerous than the carpenter ant!
How to Get Rid of Termites & Carpenter Ants
There’s no denying that these insects can both cause a lot of property damage with their wood-boring habits. If you notice the signs of either, it’s time to call the termite experts at Dugas Pest Control. Our exterminators will conduct a thorough inspection on your Baton Rouge LA property to determine whether you’re dealing with carpenter ants or termites. From there, we will work to exterminate these wood-boring insects with the most effective, fast-acting treatments.