Carpenter Ants vs. Termites: Which Do You Have?

How to Tell Carpenter Ants and Termites Apart

If there are two pests that get mixed up easily, it’s carpenter ants and termites. They share many similarities, including signs and unusual food choices, but treatment is very different. So, how do you tell them apart?

Carpenter Ants vs. Termites

Carpenter Ants

Appearance: Carpenter ants have angeled antennae, three dark brown/black body parts, and a thin waist. If a carpenter ant has wings, they are unequal in size.

Damage: This pest clears out the inside of wood for nesting, so they purposefully keep the structure in-tact to protect their young. While this isn’t welcomed behavior, it’s very little to worry about (compared to termite damage).

Signs of Infestation: You’ll find wood shavings around the edges of wood and waste that look sawdust-like. You might even hear soft crunching or rustling inside the walls or wooden structures in your home.


Appearance: Termites have a light brown, rice-shaped body made of two separate parts and straight antennae. Swarmer termites have wings that are equal in size.

Damage: Termites cause damage around all areas of your home that can cost you thousands of dollars to repair. You’ll find damaged wood that sounds hollow or is crumbled, floors that are warping and squeaking, and discolored and drooping walls with peeling paint.

Signs of Infestation: Termites leave behind plenty of signs if you know what you’re looking for. You’ll find discarded wings that look like fish scales and waste that resembles piles of pepper. You might find mud tubes around your home that start on the ground and “climb up” a wall.

Pest Problem? ExtermPRO Is Here.

We know just how to identify if you are dealing with carpenter ants or termites. Whether you need extermination services, or you’d like preventative care through our Pest Protection Plan, we’re your neighbors in northern Virginia to do the job. Call us today at 571-620-1168 to schedule a service.

Special Offer for New Customers

$50 Off Complete Pest Control Services

Hurry! Offer Expires April 30, 2024