Can you spot the difference? Ants, Termites and Alates
No matter how big or small your home is, pest infestation is something easy to overlook and costly to take care of. For many people, noticing pests in the home is done a little too late, especially when it comes to termites.
How do you know which one is foraging your home? Telling apart ants from termites is quite easy despite being often mistaken for each other. Our pest inspectors at CTS Termite and Pest Control know these little critters all too well and they would like you to spot the difference, just like the experts!
Before we get to the breakdown, let's start with the difference between termites and alates.
Alates are simply the winged form of a social insect. These flying termites are reproductive insects. They are the king and queen termites and their purpose is to find their mate and look for a place to start new colonies. Once they find their mate, they shed their wings and start their new colony. Now that we have that cleared up, let's proceed to the difference between ants and termites.
1. How they look like.
Flying ants have their body parts constricted together. They have elbowed antennae. Their front wings are longer than the back ones. Their colour is usually dark, depending on the species.
Termites, on the other hand, have straight and beaded antennae. Their body is thick and no constricted between parts. Their colour is usually light and translucent, and their front and back wings are of the same size.
2. What they feed on.
Ants are opportunistic feeders. From bread crumbs to spilled juice to dead insects, ants forage for food depending on their species and what they need. Ants forage for food to bring it back to their colonies. Their purpose is to feed the queen and their young.
Termites feed on timber alone. They start feeding off the centre of the timber, which leaves its surfaces undetected from infestation.
3. Their habitat.
Ants live anywhere - behind baseboards, in walls, in trees, and underground. They're not one to hide their foraging activities, unlike termites. Termites live where the human eye cannot see them. Starting from a tree outside, they work their way to the biggest source of timber - your home. Termites live within the timber they feed on.
4. The damage they cause.
Most ants are harmless to your home but carpenter ants build nests inside timbers and cause damage to furniture. Termites, on the other hand, consume timbers up to the last corner. They digest the timber to convert it into sugar and feed it to their colony.
Termites may not be easy to spot with an untrained eye, but they have one flaw. Alates shed their wings outside their target habitat, which gives you the opportunity to spot where they're hiding. While ants are not as pesky as termites, they still shouldn't be lurking in your home!
CTS Termite & Pest Control offers pest inspection and treatment services all across the suburbs of the Gold Coast. If you suspect an ant or termite activity in your home, contact our team via phone at 1300 664 971, or give us a visit in our office at 3/19 Jay Gee Court, Nerang.
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