A carpenter ant found in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

It can be hard to tell apart flying ants and termites. If you’ve found flying ants in your home in Albuquerque NM, they are probably a certain type of carpenter ant. Like termites, carpenter ants are wood-destroying insects that can cause significant damage to the structures of our homes. However, it’s important to know whether you’re dealing with carpenter ants or termites so that proper pest control measures can be taken. If you need help learning the difference between termites and carpenter ants, read on for tips from the Pest Defense Solutions technicians!

Carpenter Ants Vs. Termites

At the swarmer stage of the life cycle, termites look almost identical to carpenter ants. However, there are a few key differences that can help you determine which pest is invading your space:

  • Carpenter ant swarmers: These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with an 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 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.

Winged ant vs. termite in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions


Carpenter Ant Damage vs Termite Damage

You can also tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants based on the damage that they cause. Carpenter ants are on the lookout for decayed wood that they can work through to find sound wood. It can be difficult to tell if your wood is decaying from the outside in some cases, but finding a bunch of ants at a specific location around the exterior of your home is a bad sign.

Termites, on the other hand, eat the cellulose found in the wood, tunneling through it in the process and creating a torn and striated appearance. They nest underground and build tunnels towards the closest source of healthy wood to have easy food access. If you have subterranean termites in your home, you’ll probably find mud tubes protruding from your yard, linking up with siding, porches, doorways, basement windows, and other entry points to your home.

Some other details to look for 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. Carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.

Difference of carpenter ants vs termites in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

How to Prevent Wood-Destroying Pests in Albuquerque

If you discover termites or carpenter ants swarming around your property, it’s important to take quick action to protect your space. The swarming stage of the life cycle is when these pests reproduce and establish new colonies, which means you are more vulnerable to an infestation when they’re nearby. To prevent wood-destroying pests in your home, follow these tips:

  • Make sure your drainage systems are leading water away from your home and foundation
  • Fix any leaky pipes to prevent wood from becoming water-damaged
  • Store your firewood away from your home and off of the ground
  • Move mulch away from your home’s foundation

These steps will make it less likely for you to experience a termite or carpenter ant infestation. However, swarmers could also indicate that there’s already a colony nearby. If you see swarmers on your property, it’s important to get professional assistance as quickly as possible. 

Professional Pest Control for Termites, Carpenter Ants, and More!

If you have termites or carpenter ants, you’re going to need help to get rid of them! The best defense against a wood-destroying insect infestation is an inspection routine conducted by a professional pest control company. Our termite exterminators are trained to complete thorough inspections, protecting homeowners and business owners from termites and any other pests found along the way. Contact us today to learn more!

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Termite vs Flying Ant in Albuquerque NM

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