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Termites vs. Carpenter Ants: What’s the Difference?

 In Pest Control, Pest Control Tips, Pest Prevention

Carpenter ants are often mistaken for termites in central Florida. Learn the difference from Heron Home & Outdoor.
With spring upon us, swarming insects are more of a threat than ever! Two in particular can cause a lot of damage: carpenter ants and, of course, termites. 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. To identify termites vs. carpenter ants, keep reading for expert info from the exterminators at Heron Home & Outdoor.

What do Termite & Carpenter Ant Swarmers Look Like?

When it comes to telling the difference between carpenter ants and termites, it’s important to look at the size of their wings and bodies.

  • 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.

Winged ant vs. Termite in Orlando FL - Heron Home & OutdoorThe Damage Caused by Wood-Destroying Insects

Termites and carpenter ants both destroy wood, but termites cause a lot more damage in the same amount of time. 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. Their damage costs homeowners billions of dollars combined annually, making them much more of a threat than carpenter ants.

Controlling Termites vs. Carpenter Ants

Whether you think you’ve seen a flying ant or a termite, it’s best to leave the identification up to the professionals. At Heron Home & Outdoor, our termite specialists can thoroughly inspect your central Florida home to determine which species you’re dealing with. From there, we will implement the most effective, fast-acting treatments to get rid of your infestation and ensure you are protected from termites and carpenter ants year-round.

Termites vs. Carpenter Ants: What’s the Difference? in Orlando FL and surrounding counties

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