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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Johnston

Termites Vs Ants:What's the difference?

Both ants and termites swarm when it's time for mating, and both are known for causing damage to wood. In fact, there are many species of ants that swarm and may be confused with termite swarmers. However, these two insects have far more differences than they do similarities.


And while many ant species swarm and have wings, carpenter ants are more commonly confused with termites due to their wood-damaging tendencies. Outside of wing size during reproduction, termites are roughly the same size as the many species of large ants that fall into the carpenter ant group; and like carpenter ants, termites burrow into wood, making them the enemy of your home's wood frame. And because both carpenter ants and termites swarm in the springtime to mate, they are often confused for one another by homeowners spotting the swarms.


Termites have:

  • straight antennae

  • equal length wings

  • straight waist

Flying Ant vs Flying Termite

Flying ants have:

  • bent antennae

  • unequal length wings

  • pinched waist





Behavior Differences

Both ants and termites live in large colonies with designated caste systems. Termites can be found in decaying trees, stumps, wood debris, lumber, and wooden structures. Some ants, like carpenter ants, also inhabit wood and the wooden parts of structures. Termites can cause serious structural damage since they eat the wood, while carpenter ants do not eat wood and thus generally do not cause structural damage. Carpenter ants seek out moist and damaged wood in which to excavate their nests; termites will chew right into the healthy wood. Another obvious difference is the way the wood tunnels look. The tunnels and galleries of the carpenter ants will be very smooth and finished; termite galleries are rough and ragged because they are filled with layers of soil and mud.


Ant Damage

Termite Damage

Which Is Worse?

Carpenter ants can cause damage to your home if they are not controlled. They excavate wood to build their nests, which can weaken the structural integrity of your home. If you have a carpenter ant infestation, you should call an exterminator to get rid of them.

Termites are more destructive than carpenter ants because they eat wood. Termites can cause serious damage to your home if they are not controlled. If you have a termite problem, you should call an exterminator as soon as possible.If you think you have a carpenter ant or termite problem, it’s important to get pest control as soon as possible. These insects can cause serious damage to your home if they are not controlled. Contact Bug Shocker's Pest Control today!




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