Carpenter ants and termites both have a talent for destruction. While their motives might be different, their habit of tunneling through wood can cause significant harm to a home or business, so you need to be ready to act fast if these pests invade your property. How can you tell if it's a carpenter ant infestation or a termite infestation? Knowing what these pests look like will help.
Carpenter ants tend to measure between 3 millimeters and 13 millimeters in length. Most termites are similar in size with lengths that fall between 6 millimeters and 12 millimeters. In both species, the queens can be significantly larger.
With several species on the prowl, both carpenter ants and termites can be found in a range of colors. Carpenter ants are typically red, brown or black. Termites come in even more hues. They can be yellow, tan, beige, reddish, brown and black.
While size and color aren't particularly helpful in separating the carpenter ants from the termites, body shape is a major clue. Carpenter ants have narrow, nipped-in waists and bodies that are divided into three clear sections. In contrast, termites have no defined waist and bodies that are boxier.
If you can get a clear look at the insect's antennae, you can quickly tell if you're looking at a carpenter ant or a termite. Antennae that seem segmented and have a bend indicate that the creature you're contemplating is a carpenter ant. Antennae that resemble a string of beads and extend straight out signal that you're studying a termite.
Carpenter ants and termites spend the bulk of their lives without wings, but both of these insects have a part of their mating cycle when they sprout wings, form swarms and spread out to seek out new territory. Although swarming behavior won't help you differentiate between the two insects, the appearance of their wings during this period can. Carpenter ants have front wings that are longer than their hind wings. Winged termites have wings that are all the same size.
While knowing what carpenter ants and termites look like can help you recognize these problematic pests, the best way to positively identify any pest is to call in an experienced pest control professional. Carpenter ants nest in wood. Termites actually feed on it. Both behaviors can cause substantial damage to your property, so it is absolutely vital that you seek professional assistance promptly. At Kline Pest Control, we're ready to provide that assistance. We've been serving the people who live and work in Ohio for more than two decades, and we're committed to delivering top-quality pest control services that get the job done right the first time. Contact us today to request your free estimate.