Carpenter Ants vs Termites: What’s The Difference?

Carpenter Ant (Left) & Termite (Right)

Carpenter Ants vs Termites: What’s The Difference?

Carpenter ants and termites are both insects that can cause detrimental effects to wooden structures, making them dangerous pests to have to deal with. While each of these pests can be detrimental to your home, their infestations need to be solved using different methods, which is why it’s important to be able to differentiate between them. In this article, we’ll talk about the differences between these two insects and how you can identify them!

Carpenter Ants

The easiest way to differentiate carpenter ants from termites is to look at their physical characteristics. Carpenter ants are dark brown or black in color and have bodies made up of three sections with thin “waist” sections. Swarming carpenter ants, or the members of the colonies that can fly, have pairs of wings that are different sizes. Carpenter ants have a diet that consists primarily of plants and insects. Unlike with their termite counterparts, carpenter ants do not actually eat wood; they solely chew through wood to create tunnels that they can use as shelter for their colonies. To identify damage that has been caused by carpenter ants, you should look for smooth, neat passages in pieces of wood that have been hollowed out. These passages are often accompanied by piles of fine sawdust shavings. If you notice any damage to your home or building that you think may have been caused by carpenter ants, you should contact a pest control professional as soon as possible!


As mentioned above, the easiest way to differentiate between carpenter ants and termites is to look at their physical appearance. Termites are typically white or tan in color with bodies that are separated into two distinct sections, unlike their three-sectioned carpenter ant counterparts. Swarming termites, the flying members of a termite colony, have pairs of wings that are equal sized. Termites are one of the only insects that can digest cellulose, which is a substance that is found in the cell walls of plants and is abundant in dead wood. For this reason, termites actually do eat the wood they tunnel through, unlike carpenter ants who just tunnel through wood to seek shelter. One of the telltale signs of a subterranean termite colony is the presence of “mud tubes” that run up and down walls and the foundation of houses. Termites use these mud tubes as a travel-route between the ground and wooden structures.

Carpenter Ant & Termite Control In New Orleans

If you have any questions about carpenter ants or termites or if you believe your New Orleans area home is being damaged by one of these insects, contact our team at Pied Piper Pest Control! We have years of experience dealing with termites & carpenter ants and can deal with the problem quickly, efficiently, & affordably! Give us a call at (504) 366-1333 or fill out the contact form on our website, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Carpenter Ants vs Termites: What’s The Difference?