Is that a termite or a flying ant you saw? Flying ants are carpenter ant swarmers, which are often mistaken as termites and vice versa! Together, they are responsible for some of the most destructive pest infestations each year for homeowners. Swarmers (termites or carpenter ants with wings) are both active around the same time of year and somewhat look alike, but there are a few key differences between the two. Read on to learn top tips from the exterminators at Ja-Roy.
Termites and Flying Ants: What do They Look Like?
In the swarmer stage of their lives, carpenter ants and termites share a similar appearance. However, there are a couple of things that help differentiate the two. Flying carpenter ants are black in color, but can have a slight red hue as well. Their wings are translucent with a reddish-brown hue. The most telling feature of carpenter ants is that they measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antennae bent at a 45-degree angle. This makes them the biggest ant species in the nation, and much bigger than termite swarmers!
Termite swarmers are dark brown to black in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are translucent to slightly milky or smoky color, may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This can help set them apart from carpenter ants.
Damage Caused by Wood-Destroying Insects
Without a doubt, termites cause significantly more damage than their lookalike counterparts. Some of the things to know about these wood-destroying insects include:
- Termites: Make 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.
- Carpenter ants: Typically establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into normal wood, insulation, or wall voids. The galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded. For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.
How to Control Termite or Carpenter Ant Infestations
If you suspect you have a termite or flying ant problem inside your property, it’s important to act quickly. The best thing you can do is contact a professional pest control company such as Ja-Roy. Our termite exterminators will conduct a thorough property inspection on your SE Louisiana or Mississippi home to determine which species you are dealing with. From there, we will implement industry-leading pest control treatments to get rid of the infestation for good!