No one wants to deal with pests invading their homes or the consequences they may face due to the havoc these insects wreak. If you notice that insects have made it through your front line of protection, you must work to rid your house of them as soon as possible. In order to do that, you must identify them first.

Ants and termites often get mixed up despite vast differences in their species and the damages they cause. Some ants can also fly and burrow through wood, but despite similarities, they hold many crucial differences. Exterminators handle these pest problems in varied ways depending on which infestation you face, too.

The anatomy of pests

The Spruce examines the difference between termites and ants, which both contribute to big issues in homes. Winged termites and flying carpenter ants often end up confused by people who are not sure how to tell them from each other. The best thing to do is try catching one or examining a dead one to look at its anatomy.

Flying carpenter ants have a dark red or black color. They often have two sets of wings, with the front ones longer than the back. They have thin waists and bent antennae. By comparison, winged termites often have a beige or tan color. Their two sets of wings are the same size, and white or translucent. They have thick waists and straight antennae.

Identification through wood tunnels

If you find infested wood, you can also use that as a way to tell. Termites chew through healthy wood and leave ragged tunnels behind, eating the wood as they go. Ants do not eat this wood, meaning you will likely find shavings in the tunnels. They also tend to have a smoother appearance.

Both can cause massive damage, though. You will want to seek an exterminator’s advice as quickly as possible.