Termites and carpenter ants are often mistaken for one another because these swarmers are triggered during the same time of year and, often, triggered by the same conditions: moisture and the warmth from the sun. Adding in just a little bit of cold from a mild winter and the arrival of spring and you have yourself the perfect recipe for these little critters to cause an infestation in your home.

Do You Have Termites or Carpenter Ants? And What to do Next?

While you may not think about how you’ll react if you do get an infestation, spring is right around the corner and the bugs are well on their way to your home. Now you just need to determine do you have termites or carpenter ants? And what do you do next?

Termites vs Carpenter Ants

Both insects are known for attacking wood and, in their swarmer stage, which is the most common stage found during spring, they both look very similar. To an untrained eye, it is easy to confuse the two insects, but here are a few helpful tips to determine termites or carpenter ant:

●        Termites – dark brown to black in color; about ⅜” long including the wings; wings are translucent, slightly milky, or smoky looking; wings are as long or longer than the body of the termite.

●        Carpenter ants – black in color, although some species have red added to their coloring; ½” – ⅝” in length with the antenna bent at a 45-degree angle; wings are translucent with a reddish brown hue; carpenter ants are the largest ant species you can encounter in the US

Along with their appearance, another way you can determine if you have termites or carpenter ants is by the damage they cause:

●        Termite damage – termites usually eat springwood because it is softer and easier to digest than summer wood. Termites leave behind a structure called mud tubing as a pathway to get from the nest and food sources. Damage usually occurs around basement windows, doorways, under siding, sills, headers, porches, and any structure in contact with the soil.

●        Carpenter ant damage – carpenter ants establish their first colony in decayed wood and later expand into sound wood. Damage from carpenter ants looks like galleries chewed through the wood with finely sanded texture. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood; they chew it and excavate it. Primary colonies are usually located outside in rotting fence posts, firewood, dead limbs of standing trees, and under stones.

What to Do Next?

If you find signs of termites or carpenter ants, what do you do next? You call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. Getting professional help is your best option because it can be very difficult to control both termites and carpenter ants since they are getting into the foundation of your home. It takes skill and knowledge to make sure all insects are removed for good. If you want to be sure your home is taken good care of and the insects are properly removed from your home, call us today at (207) 650-8654.