At Bill’s Home Service Company, we do a lot of pest control. The Arizona climate seems to be the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of pests that you don’t want in your home. One of the more frequent calls we receive is from customers who don’t quite know what type of pest they have, but they know that they need our help.
It’s help we’re glad to give, and a common identification question that we’ll begin hearing frequently in the coming months is how to tell the difference between ants and termites. You don’t want either of these insects in your home, but knowing what you have can help protect your home better. In the case of termites, it’s vital to get treatment right away due to the damage they can cause to your home.
We know the most common ants, but how do you tell what you have is a termite or an ant? The question becomes more perplexing when you realize that some ants can fly, and termites shed wings after swarming. Therefore, the presence of wings isn’t a give away for one or the other.
In general, ants will nest outdoors or in pavement. There are a few species that will nest in trees or your walls, but knowing the basic ant body will help you tell these apart.
Ants have antennae that project off their head. While their body style is similar to that of a termite, they tend to have slender waists and generally have smaller secondary wings under larger upper wings.
Ants will forage during the day and the night, depending on the species. They tend to travel in trails and follow the same path daily.
Termites have two sets of long, slender wings that are the same size, and unlike ants, do not have a thin waist. They tend to have long, slender, uniform shaped bodies. Keep in mind that ants do not generally shed their wings. If you’re in doubt but notice piles of discarded wings on windowsills or other out-of-the-way areas, it’s likely what you have is termites.
While it’s not uncommon to see termites during the day, they’re reclusive by nature and tend to do their work out of sight. They also leave tunnels alongside your home’s foundation which they use to travel to and from their nest.
If you need treatment, contact Bill's Home Service. We’re always ready to help our clients identify and treat the unwelcome visitors that can keep your house from feeling like home.