Termites vs ants? What’s the difference between them? Termites (Isoptera) and ants (Camponotus spp.) share some similarities. The significant similarities are obviously both of them are responsible for causing damage to wood in our house. Termites’ size as same as the many species of large ants such as carpenter ants. Termites are the enemy of everyone’s house framing since they burrow into rotting and wet wood. Both of them swarm at the same time which is springtime to mate. Because of this, they are often confused for one another by the homeowner if they are spotting the swarms by these insects.
A closer look at termites vs. ants will reveal significant differences. If you want to know more, maybe you will need a magnifying glass to take a look at the insects closely. However, you can differentiate both of them with your naked eye.
Termites vs Ants Difference Between Them
The first thing which differentiates termite and ant is their body shape. A termite has no “waist,” unlike ant. Instead, its body is rectangular. Its body doesn’t narrow in the center. This center is what you called “waist” in ant. You can also differentiate termite by its antennae. It is beaded and straight. Furthermore, termite has four wings which are equal in shape and size. The wings are also longer than the body.
How about the ant? It has “waist.” The waist is a very well-defined narrow and constricted one. If termite has straight antennae, ants’ antennae are bent or “elbowed.” An ant has four wings with the back wings are shorter than the front ones.
Differences between the termite and ant include:
- Tunnel and gallery characteristics.The tunnels and galleries which made by termites are ragged and rough since they are filled them with layers of mud and soil. Meanwhile, ant’s tunnels and galleries are very smooth and finished.
- Color. Termites are transparent, and sometimes it is light or creamy white. They also avoid light. Homeowners are rarely noticed termites unless they know and disturber termites’ nest. In contrast, ants are reddish or dark in color. They also often seen in the open hunting for food.
- Mud tubes. Mud tubes can be a sign that there is a presence or previous presence of termites or ants. The tubes are built on the outside of walls. Sometimes, they built between the wood and soil. The tubes serve as the passageways through which both insects travel.
- Wing durability
Here’s the fact, both insects’ reproductive are winged. Unlike ants, termites’ wings fall off easily. You ma often see the loose wings are seen near the opening to the termite nest. You can also use the loose wings to identify a termite swarm.
- Use of wood. Termites eat the wood in to create their nest. They will chew right into the wood. Meanwhile, ants simply dig the wood to create the nest. They don’t eat the wood, unlike termites. They just push it out through the opening of the tubes and galleries of their colonies. If you see small piles of wood which shaves or frass below the holes, it means that there is an infestation of ants. Ant targets moist and damaged wood in which they dig their nest.
Termites vs Ants: How to Control Them
Since termites and ants are two different insects, the way to control them is also different for each. Termites will need a termite infestation to control them. You need professional control to do this. In contrast, ants can easily to control through the elimination of the conditions that will attract them. If both insects already damaged the wood, you need to remove and replace the damaged wood since your home’s structure will turn badly.