Are these Ants or Termites?

Dec 13, 2017

Have you noticed some strange looking ants in your home? For many, a carpenter ant and a termite appear to look the same. Both are black, have four wings, live in large colonies, damage wood, and swarm to mate. Beyond those traits, the similarities end; termite treatment is a different process than ant treatment.

Termites cause millions of dollars of damage each year. Why put your home at risk when an inspection can help you control termites in your Fremont, Oakland, Berkeley, or Castro Valley home? A call to Times Up Termite, Inc. can help. We can inspect your home, assess any damage, and tailor a termite treatment service.

Before you chalk up those winged ant-like insects as being carpenter ants, take a closer look.

How to Distinguish an Ant from a Termite

Carpenter Ants

Though carpenter ants do not eat wood, they will dig in and nest in it. They prefer moist or rotten environments like foam panels, wall voids, hollow doors, and windows. When left untreated, a colony will continue to spread into satellite colonies housing workers, mature larvae, and pupae.

Some physical traits of ants include:

  • A defined, narrow waist with three distinct segments
  • Antennae that are bent and look “elbowed”
  • Four wings with the hind wings being shorter than the front
  • Wings that are pointed instead of rounded


Unlike carpenter ants, termites will eat the wood in your home. Termites will infiltrate dry lumber where they will channel through, creating tunnels for their young and their waste. Usually, you can find swarmers in the spring when mating season is in full swing, and new colonies are on the hunt for new homes. Additional evidence of termites includes discarded wings, mud tubes, and small piles of droppings that look like sawdust.

Some physical traits of termites are:

  • A boxy, rectangular body divided into two segments, and no waist
  • Antennae that are straight and beaded
  • Four equal sized and shaped wings
  • Wings that are longer than the body

Contact A Termite Control Company You Can Trust to Inspect Your Home

Avoid ignoring any type of insect infestation in your home. A free home inspection by a licensed professional will assist you in knowing what you are up against. Additionally, regular checks every 12-18 months will keep your structure safe from these wood-boring homewreckers.

Since 1991, the professionals at Times Up Termite, Inc. have helped homeowners across the Castro Valley, Berkeley, Oakland, and Fremont areas protect their homes from unwanted pests.

Contact us at 510-568-7200 to speak with our team of experts at Times Up Termite, Inc. You can also get in touch online to request a free termite inspection.

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