Termites vs Flying Ants in Millington TN | Inman-Murphy

A common mistake for homeowners is inaccurately distinguishing between termites and flying ants. Both are capable of causing damage to your property, but each has a unique pattern of behavior. Flying ants are more formally known as carpenter ants and are considered one of the most dangerous types of ant. Additionally, termites are known to be destructive insects throughout the nation. With this in mind, acquiring skills to identify either type of insect is imperative so your property is safe from structural damage. Fortunately, the pest control experts at Inman-Murphy, Inc. are equipped with the knowledge to identify and manage either insect if you find yourself needing help from professionals. 

How to Identify Ants vs. Termites

Being proactive with your knowledge about pest identification is the first step you can take to protect your property from these destructive pests. Ways to distinguish flying ants from termites include:

  • Bodily features: Carpenter ants are slightly larger than termites, and have pronounced features, including a thinner “waist,” larger antennae, and two differently-sized wings. Termites have a more consistent shape with smaller limbs and evenly-sized wings.
  • Visibility: Termites can go undetected for years in your home, but carpenter ants are more likely to show themselves. They leave wood shavings around where they’ve been digging, and you’re more likely to find their discarded wings around your home.
  • Diet: This factor ties into carpenter ants’ diet. Carpenter ants don’t eat the wood they bore through. They prefer to eat other insects, sometimes even termites. Since termites eat cellulose from wood, they don’t have to venture out of your house’s structure.

Carpenter Ant vs. Termite: Damage

The damage caused by the insects is also a good indicator of what type of insect you are dealing with. Carpenter ants are attracted to wood that is already decayed and use that as an entry point to access sound wood. Seeing a surplus of ants near a wooden structure signifies potential activity. Piles of wood shavings are more likely around the work site as they aren’t actively eating the wood. 

Termites, on the other hand, eat away at the cellulose inside the wood, creating a visible layered look. Termites will create a mud tube from their colony underground directly into the property structure. These tubes are often connected to basement windows, siding, porches, doorways, or other structures. The damage caused by termites is excessive and is estimated to cost $500 billion yearly. 

Need Help Identifying Termites or Flying Ants?

Regardless of what insect you have on your property, it is recommended that they are removed as quickly as possible! The best defense against a wood-destroying insect infestation is to get annual inspections from a professional pest control company such as Inman-Murphy, Inc. Inman-Murphy, Inc. has termite exterminators who will thoroughly inspect your home and help protect you from termites and carpenter ants all year long.

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