Tag Archive: Carpenter ant

Do You Need a Termite Inspection or Are Those Just Flying Ants?

winged termiteAre those termites or flying ants in your yard? Which one could that wing you found on the windowsill belong to? Did you even know ants could fly? It’s common for homeowners to confuse flying ants for termites or vice versa. Confirming which one it is that may be invading your property is important since termites are known to cause damages that could end up seriously costing you in repairs. Flying ants are generally just more of an annoyance. There are a few different ways of telling them apart and treatment methods for getting rid of both, but if you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to call for a professional termite inspection. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in a situation like this.

Distinguishing Body Characteristics

Once ants and termites hit their swarming stage and produce wings it becomes difficult to differentiate between the two black-bodied creatures with just a quick glance. However, studying the characteristics of three specific body parts should help you in determining the difference. If you’re able to get close enough, look to see if the antennae is straight or bent. The first will signify a termite and the latter an ant. Their wings also vary pretty distinctly. A termite’s wings will take on a long and narrow shape, be of equal lengths and lay parallel to the body. The wings on an ant are unequal in length, are positioned at an angle and the front set of wings are noticeably larger than the back ones. Lastly, you can identify a termite or ant by body shape. The waist of a termite is straight in accordance with the rest of its body, which is separated into two segments, while an ant’s body has three segments and a waist that is pinched in.

Swarming Mannerisms

Swarming is typical of termites that are ready to reproduce and find a new place to start a colony. However, flying ants will often nest then swarm as well and find their way inside a house, creating instant panic for a homeowner. Swarmers are looking for a place to quickly burrow into soil and take up residence as they can’t typically live for long periods of time in dry climates. Catching sight of a large amount of flying bugs should be a caution sign that you have some type of insect colony living nearby.

termite damageOther Signs of Termites

Although, they are usually hard to discover by actually seeing them, termites do leave other signs around that they’ve invaded a home. Mud tubes, droppings, discarded wings, sagging or curling floors and hollowed or buckling wood are all good indicators of a possible termite infestation. Uncovering any of these signs, along with viewing a swarm, means a termite inspection is in order right away.

While you shouldn’t automatically freak out when you see a swarm of termite look-alike winged insects because they could just be flying ants, keep in mind that scheduling an annual termite inspection is the only way for a homeowner to ever really be sure that they are free of any termite activity. It would be unfortunate to wait until there’s so much damage already done that it becomes visible to the naked eye and past the point of helpful treatment.

About the Author

Tiffany Olson is a full-time blogger who finds great joy in writing on topics such as pest control. She has personally dealt with rat and fly infestations and hopes that she never has to experience flying ants or termites!

North Carolina Carpenter Ant Prevention

Carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) (Photo credit: Futureman1)

One of the most common and most destructive ant pests in the Charlotte, NC area is the Carpenter ant. In North Carolina, the Carpenter ant that is most frequently pestering homeowners is the Black Carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus). This species of Carpenter ant is also referred to as the Pennsylvania Carpenter ant. Whatever you want to call it, this ant species can be very destructive.

Carpenter Ants

 

One of the largest groupings of ant species is the Carpenter ant. They are most well known for their ability to tunnel through wood; and this is one of the primary reasons confuse Carpenter ants for termites. Carpenter ants do differ from termites, in that they do not eat the wood in which they tunnel. North Carolina Carpenter ants reach lengths of about 1/4 inch long, but a few ½ long ants have been spotted.

Normal Carpenter ants have black heads and abdomens, but have a dark red thorax. The Black Carpenter that North Carolina homeowners see is very similar in appearance, but is black all over. It’s important to note, that sometimes these ants can also have wings.

Carpenter Ant Destruction

 

Like I mentioned before, Carpenter ants build their nests in wooden structures in your home and on your property. Unused, rotten, or decaying wood seem to be the ant’s favorite nesting choices; but old, cracking furniture is also susceptible. This nesting behavior can be destructive.

Carpenter ant nesting habits destroy the integrity of wooden structures, including that of your house or furniture. These ants vigorously chew through wood, building tunnels for their nests. If you see piles of sawdust near a wooden structure on your property, it’s a good sign you have a pest problem… And that pest could be a Carpenter ant. It’s about this time you should have your home inspected by a licensed pest control professional.

Carpenter ants tending treehoppers

Carpenter ants tending treehoppers (Photo credit: cotinis)

North Carolina Carpenter Ant Prevention

 

  • Get rid of vacant wood. Whether it’s an old decaying tree stump, abandoned construction materials, or a wood pile; get rid of it! Carpenter ants love to build their nest in this wood.
  • Fix leaks and eliminate standing water. Just like you and I, Carpenter ants need water to survive. Do not make it readily available.
  • Eradicate sources of food. Carpenter ants love to eat proteins, starches, and sweets. Clean up crumbs and food debris from around your home, and tightly seal food containers.
  • Close up wooden cracks with sealant. Cracks in tree stumps, wooden furniture, etc. are an open invitation for Carpenter ants to build a nest. Put up a closed sign by sealing up those cracks with a wood sealant or epoxy.
  • Get professional ant control. One sure-fire solution to keep those destructive Carpenter ants away is to hire an ant control professional who specializes in pest control for Carpenter ants.

North Carolina Pest Control For Carpenter Ants

 

If you suspect you may have Carpenter ants around your Charlotte, NC property, do not wait until it’s too late before you get some help. Waiting will only further damage the integrity of anything that’s made of wood which is located on your property. Get professional ant control!

Bulwark Exterminating
1801 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28206
(704) 321-3716
bulwarkpestcontrol.com
 
A-1 Wildlife Control
Wilgrove-Minthill Road
Charlotte, NC 28227
(704) 334-1922
a1wildlifecontrol.net
 
Orkin Pest & Termite Control
100 Reagan Drive #3
Charlotte, NC 28212
(866) 713-9979
orkin.com
 
 

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