For many people, it is very hard to tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants. That difference can be very significant, so it is very important to get this confusion worked out. Carpenter ants can cause structural damage, but they are typically not as destructive as termites. Fortunately, there are some ways you can tell the two apart even if you are not an expert. Paying attention to these details will help you determine if you have an ant problem or termite infestation.
Termites vs. Ants: Physical Characteristics
Termites and carpenter ants both have four wings, but the size of their wings is a dead giveaway to which of the two you are dealing with. Termite wings are all the same size, but ants have larger wings in the front than in the back. Termites have straight antennae, while ants have elbowed antennae. Ants have constricted waists, while termites have straight bodies.
Termites vs. Ants: Infestation Signs
Carpenter ants can do a great deal of damage to a home, but they do not have the same destructive power as do termites. There are many ways to recognize a carpenter ant infestation. Sawdust coming from any cracks in the walls or from the ceiling is a sign. A crunching or rustling noise coming from a wall or ceiling (especially in accompaniment with said sawdust) is a sure indicator of carpenter ants. If you spot ants in your home when the ground outside is frozen, your home may be infested. Spotting significant numbers of ants inside in rooms other than the kitchen can be another giveaway.
Knowing some of the differences between termites and carpenter ants can help you to more effectively respond to the invasion and prevent further damage.