It’s hard enough to deal with mysterious crawling bugs in your house without worrying about getting one kind confused with another. One of the biggest mistakes people make about their bugs is trying to tell white ants apart from termites. And when you get the two confused, you end up taking the wrong steps to taking care of the problem.

Well, according to Broward pest control company, Excel Pest Services, the trick is knowing that what people call “white ants” are actually termites. Out of all the various kinds of real ants, there are no white ones. Those are newly hatched young termites that haven’t had their shells darken up with age yet.

In darkened corners or basement cracks, it can be tough to make out the color of a quickly moving little insect though. So if you are still wondering if you have ants or termites, there are a few other things you can look for.

Where are They Living?

First of all, where are you seeing the little pests? Ants are more likely to infiltrate the areas of your home that are undisturbed but have access to food. The kitchen is a common spot to first find ants, especially in the backs of cupboards where they can move around unseen. On the other hand, termites don’t care about the food crumbs in your kitchen and will stick to dark, damp places near sources of wood. So they are more often found in basements, garages, decks and around the foundations of your home.

Other Indications

When you start to suspect termites, take a walk around the outside of your home. Look along the foundation for unusual tubes of mud that have grown up from the ground to span over the concrete of the house foundation. Those are termite tunnels are should convince you that you have a problem.

If you are able to get a closer look at one, and aren’t positive based on the color, take a look at the body shape. You don’t need to be an entomologist to tell them apart. Ants are fairly delicate with long legs and a fine waist, but termites are much stouter and have the classic big jaws you would expect.

Taking Care of Them

In either case, you’ll want to get rid of them. The catch is that termites will do a great deal of damage whereas ants will not. So you need to call a professional as soon as possible, especially with termites. They will likely use sprays and baits to get rid of ants, but termites may require more serious measures if there are large numbers of them. Sprays may be used or the home may need to be tented and fogged. Your professionals can help you decide what’s best.

The point is that you shouldn’t discount insects because you think they’re “just ants”. Look for these signs so you don’t miss a dangerous termite problem.

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