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What are the differences between carpenter ants and termites?

When two things share similar characteristics, it is normal to have some difficulty in differentiating them! For example, is the cupcake you are eating a muffin, or a cupcake? On your bed, do you have cushions or pillows? And are the insects that create havoc in your home carpenter ants, or termites?

Hmm… These are good questions, aren’t they? We’d love to help you answer each one, but since our blog is about extermination, let’s just address the last one. To do this, we will examine 2 similarities and 4 differences between carpenter ants and termites.

Without further ado, let’s go!

Similarities between carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants and termites have a similar length.

In general, the length of carpenter ants can range from 6 to 25 millimeters. What about termites? Sometimes a little shorter, termites can be 5 to 8 millimeters in length. So, if you don’t have a little ruler with you (and if you don’t read the rest of this article), you could easily get mixed up between these two types of insects!

Carpenter ants and termites can cause serious damage to homes.

In both cases, you must act quickly to limit the damage! If you have any doubts, contact us!

The differences between carpenter ants and termites

Carpenter ants and termites do not look the same.

While carpenter ants are red or black, termites are between yellow and white. Termites are sometimes called “white ants”, but their body shape has nothing to do with the body shape of ants! In fact, termites are thick in stature compared to the slender figure of ants. Just look at the image that introduces this article to see all the physical differences between these insects (except for their length, of course)!

Carpenter ants and termites do not have the same food tastes.

As mentioned in our article on carpenter ants, these ants chew wood, but they don’t eat it. Carpenter ants leave behind piles of wood chips that look like sawdust.

Termites, on the other hand, are less difficult, and feed on the wood they chew. Yuck!

Tunnels created by carpenter ants are different from tunnels created by termites.

What makes their tunnels different? It’s that simple! While carpenter ants dig tunnels and galleries with precision and neatness, the damage created by termites is usually covered with mud and has a less neat appearance. Again, yuck!

Carpenter ants and termites do not have the same weather preferences.

We decided to save a little tidbit for last: termites prefer warm climates. They are therefore much rarer in Quebec than their distant cousins, the carpenter ants!

In conclusion

If you have carpenter ants in your home (or, more surprisingly, termites), call the experts at Brisebois Extermination! We may not be able to answer the first two questions mentioned in the introduction, but we will exterminate the insects that are bothering you. Honestly, that’s the main thing, right?