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Termites vs Flying Ants

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winged termites in a swarm with Inspect-All Services Pest Control in Atlanta, GA

Distinguishing flying ants from termites can be challenging. Flying ants are actually carpenter ants and are among the more hazardous species of ants. If your home becomes infested with carpenter ants, their size, behaviors, and characteristics may lead you to believe you have a termite problem, prompting you to seek termite extermination services. However, carpenter ants require different professional treatment methods than termites. If you’re facing a termite infestation or a carpenter ant issue, the experienced pest control specialists at Inspect-All Pest Services have the tools and expertise necessary to address the problem effectively and prevent future damage to your home.

How to Identify Ants vs Termites

The initial stage in managing wood-boring pests involves accurately identifying the species in question. Here are several techniques to distinguish between flying ants and termites:

  • Bodily features: Carpenter ants are marginally larger than termites. Their distinguishing features include a slender “waist,” larger antennae, and wings that are different in size. Termites maintain a more uniform shape with smaller appendages and wings of equal size.
  • Visibility: While termites may remain concealed within your home for years, carpenter ants are more likely to make their presence known. They leave behind wood shavings near their excavation sites, and you’re more likely to come across their discarded wings in and around your household. 
  • Diet: Carpenter ants do not consume the wood they tunnel through. Instead, they primarily feed on other insects, and occasionally even termites. Termites derive their nutrition from the cellulose in wood. They are able to sustain themselves within the structure of your home without needing to leave. This aspect is related to the feeding habits of carpenter ants. 
  • Nesting: Termites typically build their nests underground or within the structure of the wood they are infesting. Carpenter ants prefer to nest in moist or decaying wood, but they can also establish nests in insulation, wall voids, and other void spaces within structures.


Winged ant vs termite infographic with Inspect-All Services Pest Control in Atlanta, GA

Carpenter Ant vs. Termite: Damage

Further clues to differentiate between carpenter ants and termites can be observed in the destruction they cause. Carpenter ants typically begin by tunneling through deteriorated wood before progressing to sound wood. Occasionally, discerning damage caused by carpenter ants from the exterior may prove challenging, but the presence of numerous ants around a wooden structure is a clear indication.

In contrast, termites feed on the cellulose contained within wood, resulting in a visible layered appearance. They enter homes through mud tubes they create in soil, establishing connections with basement windows, doorways, siding, porches, or other structures. According to experts, termites are responsible for an astounding $500 billion in damage annually.

Need Help Identifying Termites or Flying Ants?

Dealing with termites or carpenter ants requires professional assistance! The most effective strategy against an infestation of wood-destroying insects is to schedule annual inspections with a reputable pest control company. Our team of termite exterminators will conduct comprehensive assessments of your residence and ensure year-round protection against termites and carpenter ants. Contact us at Inspect-All Pest Services today! 

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Termites vs Flying Ants Pest Control in Atlanta, GA

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