Termites or Flying Ants: What’s the Difference? in Covington, LA; Ja-Roy Pest Control

A flying ant or termite infestation can be devastating for many Louisiana homeowners. These destructive pests are often mistaken for each other due to their similar appearance. Flying ants, also known as carpenter ants, and termites might look similar, but they require a different approach when it comes to extermination. While both insects share the common trait of having wings during certain stages of their lives, their life cycles and behaviors differ significantly. Understanding these differences is crucial for homeowners. Whether you have a termite or carpenter ant problem, let the experts at Ja-Roy eliminate any wood-boring infestation for good and prevent future damage to your home.

How to Spot the Difference Between Ants and Termites

The first step in managing wood-damaging pests is identifying whether you have termites or carpenter ants. Distinguishing between flying ants and termites is crucial. Here are some key differences between these two destructive pests:

  1. Physical Characteristics: Carpenter ants are slightly larger than termites and exhibit more pronounced features such as a slimmer “waist,” larger antennae, and two sets of wings with the front wings larger than the hind wings. In contrast, termites have a more uniform body shape, smaller legs, and four identical wings.
  2. Visibility: A termite infestation in your home can go unnoticed for many years, while signs of a carpenter ant infestation can be easily seen. Carpenter ants leave behind wood shavings and discarded wings from their swarming stages in infested areas.
  3. Diet: Carpenter ants do not consume the wood they bore through; instead, they prefer eating other insects, occasionally even termites. Termites feed on the cellulose in wood, allowing them to remain in your home undetected.

Termites vs Flying Ants in Covington, LA; Ja-Roy Pest Control

Carpenter Ants vs Termites: Damage

Another main difference between carpenter ants and termites is the damage they inflict on homes. Carpenter ants typically burrow through decayed and softened wood, gradually making their way to sound wood. Although it can often be difficult to detect the damage caused by carpenter ants initially, finding ants around a wooden structure can be a clear sign of an infestation.

While carpenter ants simply bore through wood, termites consume the cellulose within wood. This results in a distinct layered appearance in their tunnels. They will infiltrate homes through the use of mud tubes, often constructed on the sides of buildings, connecting to basement windows, doorways, siding, porches, or other structures to their colonies. Termites are estimated to cause approximately $500 billion in damage to homes in the United States.

Need Help Identifying Termites or Flying Ants?

Whether you have termites or carpenter ants in your home, you’ll need help to get rid of them. These tenacious pests can be extremely difficult to fully eliminate from your home without professional help. The experts at Ja-Roy are here to help! We have been working with homeowners to keep termites and carpenter ants out of Louisiana homes since 1971. We will keep your home pest-free* with annual inspections and industry-leading extermination services. 

If you suspect a termite or carpenter ant infestation, contact the pest expert at Ja-Roy today!

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