How To Tell the Difference Between Ants and Termites

The hot summers and mild winters in Georgia provide the ideal conditions for a wide variety of insect pests, including ants and termites. For many homeowners, it is difficult to tell the difference between these insects because they have similar physical characteristics and behaviors, such as the creation of massive colonies. The first step toward developing an effective pest control plan is to determine which insect has invaded your property. In addition to knowing the places that these pests typically hide, you should also be familiar with the type of damage that they cause.

Key Differences Between Ants and Termites

One of the most distinctive features of an ant is the presence of a pedicel, which is the tapered section that separates the abdomen and thorax. This physical characteristic is absent in termites. While ants have pointed abdomens, termites have rounded bodies. Ants have single-jointed antennas, and termites have antennas that resemble a string of tiny beads. Termites have two pairs of equally sized wings. The second set of wings on flying ants is smaller than the main pair. While flying ants can swarm any time of the year, termites typically swarm during the spring months when the weather is warm and rainy.

Where They Hide

Ant and termite colonies can be found inside the walls and under the floorboards of your home after entering your house through cracks in the foundation or other minute openings. Termites can set up colonies in bookshelves and swimming pool liners as well. Depending on the species, ants may hide in cabinets and underneath or behind large appliances.

Ant and Termite Damage

Similar to termites, carpenter ants are a wood-boring species. They chew wood, insulation and other building materials to harvest the resources that they need to build a nest. Depending upon the size of the colony, the network of tunnels can be quite extensive, which can weaken your home’s support structure if the infestation continues over a period of years. As ants travel in search of food and water for their colony, they contaminate food and cooking preparation surfaces. Many ants also inflict painful bites. While ants do not actually eat the cellulose that comprises building materials like insulation and wood siding that they gnaw, termites do. These ravenous pests cause billions of dollars in damage within the United States each year as they chew through sill plates, support beams and other wooden structural elements.

Hire a Professional

In order to develop the best plan to protect your home and family, you need the assistance of an experienced technician who has the training and tools required to identify and locate these destructive pests. This expertise enables our team to develop a customized treatment plan that targets the pests infesting your home. If you suspect that you have an ant or termite infestation, do not wait. Contact Flexible Pest Service for all your pest control needs.