During warm months, termites will be swarming. After a rainy day, you may find clouds of small pests flying around your property. The two most common perpetrators of this behavior are termites and flying ants. Of course, most homeowners are highly fearful of a termite infestation due to the damage they can cause. It’s important to try to quickly identify the pest you’re dealing with so a pest management company can put together a treatment plan. When it comes to telling the difference between termites and ants, you should consider behavioral factors and visible differences in physicality.
Behavior of Termites vs. Ants
Termites Eat Cellulose and Cause Damage
Termites eat cellulose found in wood and can cause significant damage to your home. In the event of a termite infestation, they will typically gravitate toward areas with plenty of wood. Termites can’t actually survive without extremely specific moisture levels, so they build mud tubes to provide shelter. Termites will chew wooden structures, including property foundations which can lead to structural damage.
Carpenter Ants May Destroy Wood, but Not Because They’re Hungry
Most ants have multiple food sources, and carpenter ants are no exception. Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, but they will chew it up and spit it out, leaving damage in their wake. Carpenter ants will bore holes and build tunnels in search of food as opposed to the mud tubes termites craft.
Termites and Ants Both have Flying Varieties
During swarming season, termites send their swarmers in an attempt to start new colonies. In a similar manner, several varieties of ants will send out their swarmers, too. While the behavior of both specimens may be similar, there are some core physical differences you may observe.