Ants are a common pest found in our area. However, they are often confused with or misidentified as termites, particularly during the springtime. Ants and termites have distinct differences and knowing these differences can help determine which insect may be infesting a home. Although winged or flying ants and termites may appear to look alike, there are definitely differences between the two, particularly concerning their antennae, wings, and body. The antennae of swarming ants have antennae that are elbowed or bent while the antennae of swarming termites are straight and beaded. Both winged ants and termites have two pairs of wings. Ants have front wings that are noticeably larger in size than their hind wings. Termites have four wings that are all equal in size and length. The easiest way to distinguish between the two is to examine the body of the insect. Winged or flying ants have a pinched waistline and three distinctive body parts, including a head, abdomen and thorax. Termites have a broad waistline and a body that is made up of a head and lower section.
To the right is a photo that visually depicts the differences we have just described.