Ant or Termite? How To Tell the Difference
Winged ants and termites look similar and are often mistaken for each other. Both are black, with six legs, and are approximately half an inch long. The pest control methods required to deal with ants and termites are quite different so it helps to know the main differences between them.
- Ants’ bodies have three distinct sections with a narrow neck and a narrow waist.
- Termites’ bodies are roughly the same width all the way along.
- Ants have longer legs than termites.
- Ants’ antennae are bent in the middle; termites’ antennae are straight.
If the insects you see in or near your home are winged termites, it is likely to be a swarming termite looking for a new nesting area in which to establish a colony. You should call your local pest control services right away for advice. If they confirm a termite problem, they can destroy the old colony, remove any termites that have begun to nest in your home, and help protect your home against future termite colonization.
If you do not want to destroy the ants’ nest, just keep them out of your home, you should try:
- Store food securely, clean up crumbs, and wipe surfaces so that ants are not attracted into your home.
- Put talc or salt under doors and around windows to deter ants from entering your home.
Outdoor nests can be very difficult to eliminate without chemicals. Using water to flood nests is usually not effective. Use of gasoline also is ineffective and dangerous and causes environmental pollution. Repeated drenchings of a nest with an insecticidal soap solution is sometimes effective in forcing an ant colony to relocate. There is no scientific evidence that spearmint gum, red pepper, orange peels, or various herbs repel ants effectively. Remember you must kill or relocate the queen to manage an ant colony.
Minnesota Ant Pest Control
Call a Minnesota pest control expert if your pest control methods don’t work; that ant could be a termite.