Ants vs. Termites

How Do You Differentiate Termites and Flying Ants?

It is crucial for you to know whether you are fighting against flying ants or termites for you to treat the problem completely. It’s a fact that there are some winged ants that fly that resemble closely the winged swarming termites.
You can differentiate the two through the following ways:

  • Both species are known to have four wings, but those of the termites have uniform sizes. The winged ants on the other hand have larger front wings than the ones behind.
  • The ants’ antennae are elbowed but those of the termites are almost straight.
  • When it comes to the wings, the ants’ wings are shorter and they are proportionate to their bodies. Termites have wings that are twice as long as their bodies.
  • Due to their thin waists, the ants would appear segmented while the termites have really broad waists and their widths are uniform all throughout their bodies.

FAQ’s about Controlling Ants

How can I kill ants when every time I spray them they just move to a different location?
Answer: If you can’t find the ant colony, a poison bait can help you. The toxic can be passed on to the entire colony including the queen ant and her workers.

Is it true that carpenter ants eat wood?
Answer:No. They tunnel into the wood, particularly the soft and easy to decay kinds, to build their nests.

What I have in the house is a large carpenter ant. Both ends of the body are black while there’s an orangey red color in the middle. What kind of ants do you think that is?
Answer: It seems that you have a Florida carpenter ant. They just have a different color than the usual ones, but you can use the same treatment applied to carpenter ants in general.

Over the weekend that just passed, there were white-winged dark-colored ants creeping out from the ground and flying away. From the ant holes there were smaller versions without wings. It has been raining for about a week but Saturday was humid and sunny. That night it rained and they were gone after that. Haven’t seen any one of them ever since. Are those ants? It’s just that my home is now under treatment for termites for 6 months now. The treatment used is Sentracon System. I would appreciate any answer you can give and any product you can recommend. Thanks.
Answer: It is during summer when the ants swarm. Termites do so during spring. You can place a Complete Ant Bait on the ant holes to control them. When the ants are going inside, you can use Taurus SC around the area. This is a non-repellant insecticide which means that ants won’t notice its presence. Most insecticides are repellant and the ants normally just move around it to get into the ant hole.

I have been using the Ortho Orthene fire ant killer to sprinkle on the mounds found in my yard. It may seem to work but with one mound destroyed around two or three mounds appear on the other parts of the yard. It’s like a battle that I seem to lose every day.
I’d like to know if the ant poisons such as the Maxforce Complete Granular that your company distributes are better than the Orthene.
Answer: For individual mound treatment, you can’t have any advantage. However when given broadcast application the mounds found on nearby properties will be destroyed. The Extinguish Fire Ant Bait is known as a slow-acting bait but it has the IGR or insect growth regulator in it which can prevent the growth of new colonies. This would slow the intrusion of these ants into the yard. The Advion Fire Ant Bait is a highly effective and fast-acting fire ant killer bait. The Advion can kill an entire colony in 2 to 3 days. It also works on bigheaded ants and pavement ants.

What do you think is a highly efficient ant bait against carpenter ants?
Answer: Two known favorites for killing carpenter ants are Optigard Ant Bait and Advance 375 A Ant Bait. Ants are known to feed on two cycles which can be sugar-based or protein-based. Advance 375A tend to attract ants during the protein cycle while the Optigard attracts ants on their sugar feeding cycle. You can use the two baits all at once for them to choose. However, baits may not be that efficient because the ants will always have another food source and they’re likely not choose the baits. In such case, you can use the Taurus SC around the designated structure while the Dominion 2L can be used in the yard. Non-repellant insecticides are more effective than the repellant ones for controlling ants.

Are these ants carpenter ants? We have large red ants in the house and they have black nodes on the rear parts. We can find them around the bathtub faucet a couple of times every week.
Answer: In the Southern USA, the carpenter ant can be red or black. Majority of the places have solid black carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are large at about ¼ inch or even larger. Most of the time such ant baits as Maxforce Complete, Optigard, Advance 375A, and Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait work but at times they only work sporadically against the carpenter ants. The ants can easily find another food source and thus won’t eat the bait.
There’s another solution which is to find the colony and to destroy it. This is doable when finding it is easy. This can be done with a non-repellent residual crack and crevice aerosols like the Phantom Aerosol which can be sprayed directly onto the nest and dust like D-Fense Dust with the use of a duster like the Bellows 8 oz Duster.

We have a problem with ants. These are critters that I’ve never seen in my entire life. They seem to like our sunflowers and tomatoes a lot. They appear in combination of two kinds that look different from each other and they simply sit there. They stick up to the stalks of the plants and suck the juices out of them. One of the two kinds are bright green in color and they don’t really look like ants. They’re about ¼ inch long and they have green pointed backs that appear as shields. The other kind of ants is dark brown in color. They make the regular ants look smoother and prettier. They seem to live in some kind of symbiosis which means that both have business with one another. It can be seen in how they seem to cling on to each other. Please help me find out more about them and how should I take care of them.
Answer: The green ones can be aphids and they provide secretions that the ants find delectable. You’re right about the symbiosis thing. Such guys work well with each other. The aphids are the ones that provide food for the ants while the ants protect the aphids. You can spray the plants with the Bonide All Seasons Horticultural Oil. If you suffer from heavy infestation, you can try the Dominion Fruit Tree and Vegetable Spray.

What we have is a flying ant that has a three-part body which is black and red and about ¼ inch long in the attic area. Are these ants a carpenter type or termite type? I’m quite new in Florida and I’m not familiar with the insects.
Answer: They are known as Florida carpenter ants. Every year each colony will be able to produce winged adults so they can start a new colony. That’s why it’s efficient to find the nest of such ants and resort to dusting. It is highly recommended to use such products as B&G Bulb R Duster and also the D-Fense Dust. You can inspect and locate where the carpenter ant nest is dust it.
For larger coverage in the attic, you can use the Dustin Mizer which is a crank type of duster that covers the attic very well. This dust will last for around 6 months to a year. One pound of dust will be able to cover 1,000 sq. ft.

I have a few questions to ask about carpenter ants. I do believe that we have a nest of them in our basement. Will they create a nest in the insulation? Should I also pull out the insulation to find its nest or should I be able to find it without doing that? The basement is not yet done.
Answer: Carpenter ants do nest in insulation. You may have to pull out the insulation so you can find them. It’s better to try spraying the area and its perimeters with Taurus SC.

We do have a problem in our veggie garden. There are thousands of red ants in it. They have already consumed the top parts of the carrots but they have not done anything else other than that. But I don’t want them to eat our veggies for next season. What should I do to control them?
Answer: It’s better to spread the Maxforce Complete Granulars all around the garden area. Ants should eat it and carry this to their nest which could kill the entire colony. You may also use the Ant No More Bait Stations which would hold the bait within the container if you wish to do so.

There are really small ants that attack the plants and leave holes on plants in the garden. We reside in Northern Ohio and I would like to know what to put on plants that will discourage the ants and still allow us to eat the veggies we planted that is if there are still some left for us to consume. This is our first time to do gardening and we seem to be losing to the ants. Your suggestions will be appreciated.
Answer: The best way to go would be to find the ant colony and to drench it with a liquid insecticide like Conquer. When you happen to be dealing with leaf cutter ants, it’s the only method that works since they don’t eat ant baits at all.