How To Determine the Differences Between Termites and Carpenter Ants

Pest infestations can destroy property and can be a health risk for you and your family. Getting the most experienced termite or carpenter ant exterminator in NJ is the best way to handle the infestation. However, if property owners knew what kind of pest infestation they have, it can help the pest control professionals and property owners when finding the best strategy to remove and defend the property in the future. Two of the most common pests are termites and carpenter ants. The problem with these two pests is they have some similar patterns of destruction and appearance. Here are ways a property owner can determine the difference between a termite infestation and a carpenter ant infestation.


Most insects have antennas that act as a sensory organ. Termites have short, pointed antennas that cannot be bent. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, have jointed antenna that appear as if they can be bended like a person’s elbow.

Body Type

Most insects have the common three body section appearance: head, thorax, and abdomen. However, termites are unique in that they appear to only have two identifiable sections to their bodies. Carpenter ants will have the typical insect appearance of three body sections. In addition, termites and carpenter ants develop differently. Termites are practically born fully developed out of their eggs. Newborn termites are called nymphs which grow to become adults. Carpenter ants, however, go through insect metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupae, then adult. If the homeowner sees larva, then it’s probably a carpenter ant infestation and they will need carpenter ant removal service.


How termites and carpenter ants destroy property is also unique. If the property owner can take a slab of material broken off from the property, they can see who the culprit of the infestation is. Termites consume wood as they create their homes, meaning the property owner will see small fecal pellets across the destroyed material. Carpenter ants, however, do not necessarily consume wood; they are merely digging. Hence, the property owner will see mostly sawdust and insect tissue called frass.

Wing Appearance

Termites and carpenter ants are colony insects. When colonies become healthy enough for a level of homeostasis, winged male and female termites and ants are born. These insects are produced sexually mature so they can fly to new areas and develop a new colony. Seeing a winged termite or carpenter ant is a sign that the colony is doing quite well in the property. However, the owner can use the wing appearance to tell which insect is infesting their home. Termites have four very large wings that are bigger than their bodies, clear in appearance, and are shaped like pads. Carpenter ants have two large wings and two small wings that have noticeable black veins. The wings are also pointed on their ends.

Contact Precise Pest Control for Your NJ Pest Services

Property owners can save a lot of time and money if they can show what kind of pest infestation there is on the property. By analyzing the insects, the property owner can determine if they have a termite or carpenter ant problem. When the property owner knows what the infestation is, it is time to contact an exterminator. For over 25 years, Precise Termite and Pest Control has been keeping New Jersey pest free and is committed to a high standard of service and professionalism at every job site. Call (866) 971-2847 for a home inspection at no cost you to. Precise Pest Control provides Morris County extermination services as well as Passaic County, Bergen County and other Counties in New Jersey.