Carpenter Ants vs. Termites

Carpenter Ants vs. Termites

Odds are, at some point you’ve seen swarms of flying ants or flying termites buzzing around your home – but which is which? The ant vs. termite question isn't an easy one to answer. To solve the ant vs. termite riddle, you need to carefully inspect them.

At their adult, sexually mature age, flying termites and flying ants can be easily confused. Both species grow wings to take flight as they make an exodus from their original colony. Scientists call this process swarming, but homeowners know it better as trouble.

Termites vs. Flying Ants: Which Is More Harmful?

When it comes to termites vs. flying ants, termites take the cake. Flying ants usually are more of a nuisance than they are harmful. Termites, however, can be destructive to houses and other structures and can lead to a more serious problem. When these unidentified flying objects descend on your home, make sure you know how to tell the difference between the two, and more importantly how to take action against these aviator invaders.

How to Tell the Difference Between Termites and Flying Ants

There are simple characteristics that can be used to differentiate a winged ant from a winged termite. Start with the antennae. Does it bend like an elbow or is it beaded? If you see a distinct right angle bend, you’re working with ants. In contrast, the beaded antenna is a quality of termites. Also, check out the size of the waist. A broad-sized waist signifies a termite. Ants, on the other hand, can be recognized by their constricted waists, which resemble a small "waistline."

Typical signs of termite infestations include swarming in the spring and autumn, as swarms only occur when a colony has grown to a certain size. Other indicators include small tubes of mud, about the size of a pencil in diameter, resting on your foundation or protruding from cracks between boards and beams. Hollow sounds from infested wood when it is tapped, or extreme softness when probed with a sharp object, can also signal a termite infestation.

When it comes to getting rid of adult flying ants and termites, TERRO® provides two solutions. TERRO ® Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer Aerosol offers a precision spray tube to feed spray into tight voids and cracks inside walls and wood crevices where termites and ants tend to colonize. With instant killing action, it also provides residual protection for up to four weeks, indoors and outdoors.

TERRO ® Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer Spray is dispensed in a convenient, ready-to-use spray bottle, making it easy to reach the hidden areas where carpenter ants live, such as joists, baseboards and windowsills. This long-lasting formula contains highly effective Deltamethrin and provides quick-killing action and residual control for up to four months.

Both TERRO® products are excellent preventative tools to help take control of budding problems with ants and termites – before they start buzzing around your home. If you already have a major termite infestation, an exterminator should be called to get to the root of the problem. Using both methods together, you can safely say goodbye to those pesky flying invaders.

Want America’s ant expert Stew Clark to show you how it’s done? Watch this short video!