Carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for termites in Northern Virginia - Learn more from Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor'sDid you know that termites and carpenter ants are commonly mistaken for each other? Although they are both wood-destroying insects, these pests are quite different from one another. Termite and carpenter ant swarmers are active around the same time of the year and, from afar, look quite similar. However, termites are infamously the most destructive pest in the nation, making them much more dangerous than their lookalikes.

To learn the differences between termites and carpenter ants, keep reading for expert tips from Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s.

How are Termites Different From Carpenter Ants?

When comparing these two wood-destroying insects, one is much more dangerous than the other.

  • Carpenter Ants
    • Typically establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into sound wood, insulation, or wall voids.
    • Their damage is not usually visible. When it is, you can notice that the galleries they excavate appear to have been sanded.
    • For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.
  • Termites
    • Usually 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.
    • Termites are significantly more dangerous than the carpenter ant, as they can cause much more damage in a short period of time.

Winged Ants vs. Termites in Northern VA - Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's

Differences Between Termites and Carpenter Ants

In the swarmer stage, termites and carpenter ants look very alike. Carpenter ant swarmers are black in color with slightly red coloring at times. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue. The biggest difference is that carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antennae bent at a 45-degree angle. This makes them the biggest ant species in the nation.

Termite swarmers are dark brown to black in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color, may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body. This is the easiest way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.

What to Do With Wood-Destroying Insects

If you think you are dealing with a wood-destroying insect infestation, it’s necessary to enlist the help of a professional termite pest control expert. At Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, our exterminators have the decades of experience required to provide effective carpenter ant or termite control.

Differences Between Termites and Carpenter Ants in Virginia

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