"Winged ants" - how to identify termites

Termites are often described as "winged ants," "flying ants" or "ants with wings," but it's actually quite simple to tell the difference between winged ants and termites.

There are three main differences between flying termites and flying ants.

  1. Both insects have two sets of wings, but a winged ant's front wings are larger than its back wings while both pairs of termite wings are the same size.
  2. Ants with wings have elbow shaped antennae while termites have straight antennae.
  3. And lastly, flying ants have a cinched waist while termites have a thick one.

Termite Appearance

There are several types of termites and appearances vary based on their role in the colony.

  • Most often, you will see winged, darker termites often called "swarmers." These termites are largely responsible for propagating the colony.
  • In addition to swarmers, light colored termites with no wings, or very short wings, also aide in reproduction.
  • Worker termites are light colored and wingless, often found (as the name suggests) on the job.
  • Soldier termites have mandibles and an elongated head.

Signs of Termites

It's important to know the signs of termites so you can detect and address an issue as early as possible.

  • If you see thin, pencil-sized tunnels within your interior walls, exterior walls, or foundation - you very likely have a termite problem.
  • Look for fallen termite wings around interior or exterior walls.
  • Some termites (particularly "swarmers") can be found indoors and are often spotted  near light sources.

 

Termite

Termite Facts:

  • Pale or white colored.
  • Can range from a few millimeters to over a centimeter in length.
  • Sometimes referred to as "white ants".

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