What is the Difference Between Termites and Carpenter Ants?

Wood destroying insects are a serious problem on the East Coast. They are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in home damage, and in some cases they can cause permanent problems that may lead to dangers inside of the home. Because many of the homes in this area are also aging, the damage that they can cause may put your house at risk for even more serious problems over time.

There are two main wood destroying insects – carpenter ants and termites. Both of these insects can damage your property and lead to long term problems in your structure and your home value. But they’re also very different pests, and require very different treatments. The following are some of the differences between termites and carpenter ants.

Difference in Looks

Termites and ants have distinctly different bodies. Try to look up close to the insects in order to tell the difference between the ways they look.



  • Straight Antennae
  • Rice Shaped Body
  • Two Separate Parts

Carpenter Ants:

Carpenter Ants

  • Angled Antennae
  • Three Part Body with Thin Waist
  • Darker Brown/Black Color

Swarming termites also have equal sized wings, while swarming carpenter ants have unequal wings. Termites are also a white/tan color, and a lighter brown when they swarm, while carpenter ants are always a dark brown/black color.


The damage caused by carpenter ants is also very different than the damage caused by termites. Termites cause significantly more wood damage, making them a much more damaging pest for your home. Carpenter ants clear out the inside of wood for nesting, so the wood’s structure is meant to stay intact for their own safety. Termites live underground and eat away at wood constantly, with little care about the damage they cause.

With carpenter ants, you’ll often see sawdust-like fragments near your home. Termites rarely leave many remnants, instead taking as much as they can. The only things left behind are usually chunks of wood that have fallen off.

Find the Difference to Find the Treatment

Knowing the difference between the two is crucial for treatment. But both need an immediate treatment, because both are going to cause home damage. If you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware, call Green Pest Solutions today.

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Guide to Termites

Guide to Termites

Protect your home from the devastation that termites can cause by knowing how to identify them, warning signs of their presence, and steps to prevent an infestation.

One Comment

Termites are serious problem for house owners. I think carpenter ants to same kind of damage but gradually.