How To Tell The Difference Between an Ant and a Termite

Ants and termites are often mistaken for each other, but these pests are actually quite different. Correct identification is crucial when you’re trying to eliminate an infestation.

Which One Is It?

While ants and termites do resemble each other, they both have certain distinctive features. To determine whether you are dealing with ants or termites, take a close look at the insect’s:

  • Body: How many segments make up the body? An ant’s body has three segments. Termites’ bodies only have two segments.
  • Antennae: How are the antennae shaped? Ants’ antennae are not straight; they have a noticeable bend in them. The antennae on a termite are long and straight.
  • Wings: What do the wings look like? Ants and termites do not always have wings, but when they do, these appendages can help identify the insect. Ants have four wings, and the rear wings are shorter than the front wings. While termites also have four wings, their wings are all the same size and shape.

Understanding Ants

What attracts ants to homes? These persistent pests will slip through the smallest cracks in your home’s building envelope to find water and food, so kitchens are a favored target. Once they’ve identified a food source, they can return repeatedly because they mark the way with a chemical trail that other ants can follow. Ants can nest in the walls of your home or nearby in a stump, the lawn or under the foundation. Regardless of where they set up shop, they can cause problems for homeowners. Ants that choose to nest indoors will sometimes tunnel through the wood used to build the home to construct their own dwellings. In addition, any ant that enters a home foraging for food or water can contaminate those items.

Understanding Termites

Like ants, termites are drawn to homes because they are a potential source of food, but they favor a different type of snack. Termites dine on cellulose, an organic fiber found in wood, and most homes have a great many wood products in their construction. Termites can quite literally eat people out of house and home. Their feeding habits destroy wooden components from the inside out, and the longer their presence goes unnoticed, the more damage they will do. Termites might be small, but they can cause a great deal of harm. If given enough time, they can actually compromise the structural integrity of a building.

One of Georgia’s premier pest control companies, Bug Out works hard to provide commercial and residential property owners in the Atlanta area with top-notch pest control services. We’re proud of our reputation for professionalism and integrity, and we’re committed to do our best to protect the health and property of our community. Whether you’re struggling with termites, ants or some other pest, we’re fully prepared to provide the expert assistance that you need and the excellent service that you deserve. Contact us today to request a free estimate.