Termites vs Flying Ants
Distinguishing between flying ants and termites can be a challenging task. Flying ants are actually carpenter ants, one of the more hazardous types of ants. If your home becomes a target for carpenter ants, their size, behaviors, and characteristics may mislead you into believing you have a termite problem. This can lead to mistakenly calling for a termite exterminator. Carpenter ants exhibit distinctive habits that require precise and professional treatment methods. Whether you’re grappling with a termite or carpenter ant issue, the pest control professionals at Dixon Pest Services are equipped with the tools and expertise needed to resolve the problem and prevent any potential future harm to your home.
How to Distinguish Between Flying Ants and Termites
The key to controlling wood-boring pests is identifying the specific type causing the problem. Here are some methods to distinguish between flying ants and termites:
- Physical Characteristics: Carpenter ants and termites may share a similar size and have wings, leading to initial confusion. However, upon closer inspection, their physical differences become apparent. Ants have a distinct narrow waist, bent antennae, and forewings that are larger than their hind wings. In contrast, termites have straight antennae, a broad waist, and wings of equal size.
- Visibility: While termites can remain unnoticed in your home for years, carpenter ants are inclined to make their presence known. They leave behind wood shavings in areas they’ve excavated, and you’re more likely to discover their discarded wings scattered around your residence.
- Winged Stage: Both flying ants and termites undergo a winged stage during their reproductive cycle. For flying ants, this stage is a brief part of their life cycle, occurring when they are ready to mate. After mating, the wings are shed, and they establish new colonies. In termites, the winged stage marks the beginning of the reproductive process. After swarming and mating, these winged termites shed their wings before establishing a new colony.
- Diet: Interestingly, carpenter ants do not ingest the wood they excavate. Instead, their diet primarily comprises of other insects, occasionally even termites. In contrast, termites feed on the cellulose present in wood, allowing them to sustain themselves without needing to venture outside your home’s structural framework.
- Habitat Preferences: While flying ants and termites might share common habitats, specific species exhibit unique preferences when it comes to their living environments. Termites are commonly linked with wet and decaying wood, as their dietary practices involve the breakdown of cellulose. Conversely, flying ants display adaptability, thriving in diverse settings ranging from urban areas to forests.
Carpenter Ant vs Termite Damage – What You Need to Know
Distinctions between carpenter ants and termites become more apparent when examining the destruction they cause. Carpenter ants typically initiate their activity by burrowing through already deteriorated wood, progressing into structurally sound wood. Identifying carpenter ant damage may prove challenging based solely on external observations, but seeing the presence of ants around a wooden structure serves as a clear indicator.
In contrast, termites consume the cellulose within the wood, resulting in a visible layered appearance. They infiltrate homes through mud tubes constructed in the soil, connecting them to basement windows, doorways, siding, porches, or other structures. Experts estimate that termites are responsible for an astounding $500 billion in damages every year.
Confused About Termites or Flying Ants? Allow Us to Help!
If termites or carpenter ants have invaded your home, you’ll need expert help for proper eradication! The most effective strategy against an infestation by wood-destroying insects is to get annual inspections with a trusted pest control company. Our team of skilled exterminators ensures a thorough evaluation of your residence, offering protection against termites and carpenter ants throughout the entire year. Contact Dixon Pest Services today for professional help!