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What is the difference between flying ants and termites?

April 3, 2016 | Termite Information

flying ant vs termite

With the spring season just around the corner, now is the time to bug-proof your house, particularly with two common ones at this time of the year. Flying ants and termites are a pain to deal with, so it is best to know more about these insects and find ways on how to drive these away from your home.

Is It a Flying Ant or a Termite?

Experts call termites and flying ants “swarmers”, and these may come with almost similar qualities such as the black color of the body and their wings. Moreover, most of these bugs are females, so they are able to establish more colonies and keep on reproducing. As for the question on how to tell these apart, it is important to check the different features of these bugs. After all, the type of treatment used for an ant is different from what is required to kill termites effectively.

The following are among the features that are unique with both termites and flying ants or carpenter ants.

1. Antennae

A termite has straight antennae while ants have bent ones. The length of the antennae that ants have are also longer compared to that of a carpenter ant’s.

2. Size of the Body

Insects have three main regions in their body, which include the abdomen, thorax and the head. In the case of a termite’s body, these three primary regions are not quite distinct from each other because of the uniform width. As for ants, the sizes of the head, thorax and abdomen are evidently different from each other. So, aside from the antennae, you may want to look closely at the appearance of these body regions to tell the difference between these two insects.

3. Wings

Although these two insects both have wings, there is a slight difference in the appearance. Termites and ants have four wings (two pairs), which means there is a back and front pair. Ants have front wings that are longer than the back wings. On the other hand, termites have the same length for all four wings. Since the wings of these two insects go straight back, it may be tougher to see for sure if they are of the same length. Yet, you can still check the color of these wings to tell these bugs apart. Termites have translucent wings while ants have wings with a hint of brown in them.

What to Do Next

After telling the difference between these insects, it is time to take action. Having these swarmers in your home is not good news, and you need to act quickly to prevent any problems that come with termite or flying ant infestation properly addressed. It is also worth noting that if there are swarmers in your property, you can expect their nest and breeding ground to be just nearby.

The best thing to do after spotting these insects is contacting a professional to eliminate these unwanted bugs. You may also send an email to a pest control company and attach a photo of the insect you have found in your home, so these professionals can determine the type of pest present. This will allow them to plan the right action and technique that will completely eliminate these pests once and for all.

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