How to Tell the Difference between Termites and Carpenter Ants

This is swarming season for termites and carpenter ants in New York and New Jersey. If you see what look like puddles of white or gray-winged flying ants milling around in the garden or lawn of your business, you most likely have a problem on your property. Insects close to the building foundation or discarded wings on window sills or near doorways typically mean insects have actively invaded the structure.

Once the ground warms in the spring, both termites and carpenter ants produce winged reproductives. These specialized insects crawl from their underground nests to the surface where they pair up and fly off to mate and establish new colonies. Poor flyers, the females frequently land on the same or nearby properties. Biting off her wings, the female tunnels into the ground to establish a new nest. It takes about 5 years for a termite colony to reach maturity which means that considerable damage may already have occurred by the time winged reproductives are observed.

In their reproductive phase, both carpenter ants and termites look like winged ants. Both have 4 wings, 2 on each side; however, termite wings are all equal length and longer than their bodies while carpenter ants have longer forewings than hindwings.

If you see winged ants on your property call the termite specialists at Stern Environmental for a positive identification and prompt extermination.

One thought on “How to Tell the Difference between Termites and Carpenter Ants”

Comments are closed.