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Flying Ants vs. Termites

Flying Ants and Termites

When you see swarms in your home you many think of termites. The swarm my be winged ants are another type of flying insects. Truly Green Pest Control can help you Identify the differences  between the termite and the ant. Very easy to recognize based on a few characteristics.

What’s the Difference?
Picture of Termite vs. Flying Ant

Termites have: Termite

  • straight antennae
  • equal length wings
  • straight waist

Flying ants have: Flying ant

  • bent antennae
  • unequal length wings
  • pinched waist

More information on ants

Difference and Appearance

The first thing to look at with termites is the structure of their antennae. Their antennae is straight. The second is the body structure with characteristics of a wide body without segments.  They come in a couple of colors, black and brown.  When it comes to the wings, notice that the wings are clear transparent type, and they will be the same length.  More on termites

Ants on the other hand have elbowed antennas, in other words, bent antennae. Their bodies will have segments in which we call a pinched waist. And probably the easiest for you to recognize is the unequal length in the wings. Their wings are tinted looking. Look at the image above for comparison.  Ants come in an array of colors from black, brown, or red.

Behavior Habits Differences

Similarity is ants and termites have colonies. They both have soldiers, workers, and queens.  Anything that has wood such as decaying trees, wood debris, lumber and parts of your home that contain suitable wood.  Another issue of confusion is that I also shared the same characteristics of a carpenter ant who also like what the termites like. More on carpenter ants. .Termites can cause serious structural damage since they eat the wood, while carpenter ants do not eat wood and thus generally do not cause structural damage.

Diets of Ants and Termites

Although they have the same caste system. Termites eat wood which can cause structural damage into thousands of dollars. The damage can weaken structures.  Ants on the other-hand will eat other insects, nectar, seeds, food debris found in kitchens…including dog foods that left out.  Termites eat cellulose materials…paper and wood.

Life Cycle of Termite vs Ants

Ants have four stages through it development to an adult: egg, larva, pupa and adult.  Their caste system does not live long. The worker ant lives a few months. The queen can be kept as a pet. It can live for a few years or longer. Termite life cycle includes egg, nymph (larvae), and adult phases. Just 3 stages vs 4 stages of the ant. Termites lifecycle is a little longer than ants. the termite can live for years vs months for ants.  The queen on the other hand can go on for decades as long as she is protected.

Every Spring you will see a swarm of termites or ants.  The termites and ants or fertile when they leave the nest. They main goal is t find new colonies and a mate to get it started.  Unfortunately for the lucky male with termite  dies after mating.. Afterwards, the termites expand and build their colonies.

Both types of pests have similar reproductive cycles. During warm months, fertile winged ants and termites fly from their nests to mate and establish new colonies. In ant species, the male partners typically die after mating with the females. After termites mate, both male and female partners live on and continue to expand their new colonies. Both ants and termites lose their wings after mating.