Differences between Ants and Termites

November 4, 2014

If you have ever witnessed a group of winged insects, that you can not identify in your home, it can be extremely alarming. After you shriek, an initial thought might be TERMITES! However, don’t hit the panic button quite yet. Having the presence of flying insects in the home is never a good sign as this more than likely means that you have winged carpenter ants or termites in your house. At first glance the winged carpenter ants and the winged termite swarmers look alike, making it difficult to tell them apart to the untrained eye. However, there are enough distinct differences that will help you accurately identify which pest has invaded your home. A professional can help you identify the insect and what hazard it may pose to your home. Professionals can also determine if and where any damage has been done already. Let’s look at the major differences between flying ants and termites so that you can determine how big a problem you may have.

What are the three areas of comparison that you need to be aware of when differentiating the termite vs the ant.

Antennae – When comparing ants vs termites, the first thing to do is to look at their antennae. If you take a close look at the antennae of a carpenter ant, you will see that they are bent. Termite antennae are straight. They are also shorter than carpenter ant antennae.

Wings – . Both carpenter ants and termites have two pairs of wings, meaning they have four all together. There is a front pair and a back pair. On termites, both the front and back pair of wings are the same length. On carpenter ants, the back wings are significantly shorter than the front wings. The wings for termites and carpenter ants tend to go straight back and can be difficult to see whether or not they’re the same length. What you will be able to see are the colors of the wings. Carpenter ant wings have a brown tint to them. Termite wings are white and translucent.

The body shape of the insect. All insects have three body regions – the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. These regions are not always apparent in all insects, though. The body of the termite is rather straight. This makes it hard to see the three body regions. The ant has a very thin waist. Carpenter ants’ bodies do have 3 distinct regions that you will be able to see.

If you notice these type of insects and have trouble determining the type and what this might mean for your home contact a professional to thoroughly examine your home.

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