With spring upon us here in Sevierville TN, swarming insect season is coming! The most dangerous insects to be wary of this time of year are termites and carpenter ants. These two wood-destroying insects are commonly mistaken for each other in the swarmer stages of their lives. Although they are similar in appearance and habits, there are a few key differences to be aware of. Read on for tips from the experts at Johnson Pest Control for how to tell the difference between these insects.
How to Tell the Difference Between Termites & Carpenter Ants
It can be difficult to tell apart termites and carpenter ants in the swarmer stage. It’s important to look at the size of their wings in proportion to their bodies:
- Carpenter ant swarmers: These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ant swarmers are bigger than termite swarmers!
- Termite swarmers: Usually, termite swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are a translucent to slightly milky or smoky color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body; this is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.
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Termite Damage vs. Carpenter Ant Damage
Termites typically cause more damage than carpenter ants. 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 termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
- Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into normal wood, insulation, or wall voids.
- Excavated termite galleries appear to have been sanded. For the most part, carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.
Wood-Destroying Insect Extermination
Without a doubt, wood-destroying insects cause a lot of damage for property owners. However, termites can cause much more damage in the same period of time as carpenter ants. Regardless, it’s important to enlist professional help for either of these insects. At Johnson, our termite exterminators will conduct a thorough inspection on your property to determine whether you’re dealing with carpenter ants or termites. From there, we will work to exterminate these wood-boring insects with the most effective, fast-acting treatments!
How to Differentiate Between Termites & Carpenter Ants in Sevierville TN
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