Carpenter Ants live inside the wood, carving their homes in to it.They do not eat wood.
Termites do eat wood. Depending on the type, they may live in the wood itself or underground.
Both Carpenter Ants and Termites damage wood, swarm, and are similar in appearance.
However, given a little bit of help, customers should be able to correctly identify which they have over the phone!
Outside of swarming, customers are more likely to see Carpenter Ants than Termites.
The body shape of an ant has a distinctly segmented body, in particular having tiny waists. Termite bodies are much more uniform, without or with a less distinct waist.
If the customer can see the antennae, ant antennae have a kink, or elbowed, appearance. Termite antennae will be straight and beaded in appearance.
If the pests are swarmers, or winged, the customer can identify between the two using their wings as well. Termites also will leave piles of wings on windowsills after a successful swarm.
Ant wings are different sizes and shapes, between the front and back wings. Termite wings are uniformly sized and shaped.
Carpenter Ant Frass vs Termite Frass
Carpenter ant frass is the wood they have excavated while making their homes. This may have the appearance of fine sawdust, or wood shavings, and may have pieces of deceased ants inside it.
Termite frass are termite droppings, that have been pushed out of dry or dampwood galleries to keep them clear. They will be a uniform size and can be described as being sandy in texture, or appear similar to salt and pepper.