Termites vs. Winged Ants

Image of Termites


Flying Ants or Termites?

While home and business owners often misidentify these two pests, it’s crucial for New England residents to decide which insect is truly causing a problem. Differences in termite vs. winged ant control mean that treating for one pest may not affect the other.

Why Do People Confuse Termites with Winged Ants?

In addition to similar size and color, both flying ants and termites reproduce in swarms to create new colonies. Termite or ant mating flights occur when colonies reach large enough numbers to start a new colony nearby. Therefore, seeing swarmers suggests a bigger problem.

Since adult ants emerge from their colonies on occasion and worker termites almost never come out, flying insects are easy members of these species to spot. Knowing a few traits of each pest can help with identifying them.

What Is the Difference between Flying Ants and Termites?

Identifying termites vs. winged ants is simple with a closer look. Differences include:

  • Antennae – An ant has two bent antennae, while termite antennae are straight.
  • Waists – A termite lacks an ant’s thin waist.
  • Wings – Termites have four identical sized wings, whereas an ant’s front and back wings differ in size.

Termites or Ants in Homes

Other differences between ants and termites include how and why they move indoors. Due to their habits and small size, termites often remain unnoticed. The insects enter buildings by digging through moist beams or using mud tubes to access wood to feed on from the inside.

Unlike termites, ants usually come into a kitchen or break room seeking food crumbs and sweets. Carpenter ants, tunnel into wood but don’t eat it. As a result, people are more likely to spot a non-flying adult ant foraging outside the nest than a termite.

How to Handle an Insect Issue

Whether the issue is flying ants or termites, either pest can still trouble New England home and business owners. Cleaning deters ants, while reducing wood to soil contact can keep termites from causing structural damage. Contact the experts at Waltham Pest Services to manage a pest problem.

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