Termites and Carpenter Ants: The Differences

Termites and Carpenter Ants have more in common than most people would assume. For example, both pests are wood vandals, and are responsible for a great portion of residential pest control house calls each year. Termites and carpenter ants cause extremely expensive damage to the wood and interior of your home if left unnoticed.

Besides the fact that both species cause immense damage to homes across the nation, there are other similarities between the two, such as appearance. Many homeowners have mistaken carpenter ants for termites, and visa versa. Therefore, it’s paramount to be able to identify the differences between these two species.

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For starters, one key factor that can help differentiate between the two species is their appearance. Termites have a head and thorax, while carpenter ants have a head, thorax, and abdomen. In addition to the physical differences in body structure, termite wings are typically much longer than carpenter ants, in reference to body size. In terms of color, carpenter ants are typically black or dark brown, and sometimes appear with a red tint. On the other hand, termites range in color from creamy white to a dark brown or black.

Dietary Differences

Both species will chomp away on the wood in your home. The main difference is that termites consume wood for sustenance, as it is a source of nutrition for their species. While on the other hand, carpenter ants cannot digest wood cellulose. Carpenter ants chomp on the wood in order to burrow and create a shelter for their species.

Carpenter Ant Nests VS Termites Nests

As far as nesting goes, both termites and carpenter ants will build their colonies inside the wood in your home. The difference between the two is that carpenter ants prefer wood that has been wet or damaged, meaning they can often be found in damaged window and door frames, sinks, and bathtubs. On the other hand, depending on the species, termites will build their colonies in a variety of types of wood. For example, Drywood Termites build their nests in dry wood, such as wood flooring, attics, window sills, and even furniture.

All of us at RH Miller Pest Services take pride in making sure that you have the prevention you need. Servicing cities like Conway, in Central Florida for over 30 years, we have the expertise to get the results you desire! Bugs, Wildlife, or Lawn; we do it all. Find out why we have a 5-STAR rating on Google today! Give us a call at 407-339-7119.


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