Termites vs. Ants

Termites vs. Ants – How to Know What You Are Dealing With As the weather warms up, we will enter termite “swarming season.” For our customers, having swarms of flying insects around their homes can really be disturbing! If you are at a home for an HVAC, Plumbing, Roofing or Electrical service, a homeowner may present you with a bag of bugs and ask whether they are flying ants or termites. It will help to be able to tell them what they are dealing with – ants are generally just a nuisance, while termites can cause lots of expensive damage to your customer’s biggest investment – their home!

(Whether your customer has an ant problem or a termite infestation, we can help! Ask your customer to keep a sample for our pest control professionals to be able to confirm what they’re dealing with – they can also feel free to bring it into our office for identification! )

Most people can tell the difference easily between a wingless worker ant and awingless worker termite – the termite is soft-bodied, light colored and rarely seen out in the open, while the ant is dark with a hard shell, and is often seen in and around the home. It’s harder, however, to tell the difference between termites and ants when they are in their winged reproductive stage – otherwise known as “swarmers” – here are some guidelines:

Termites

  • Have no waist – their  body is shaped like a cigar
  • Have straight antennae
  • Have four wings of equal size and shape that are longer than their bodies.

Ants

  • Have a defined, narrow “hourglass” waist
  • Have bent or “elbowed” antennae
  • Have four wings – back wings shorter than the front wings
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