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Difference Between Flying Ants and Termites


The difference between flying ants and termites is subtle. Distinguishing between the two is far from easy.. Note that ants have elbow-shaped antennae, while the termites’ are beadlike and fairly straight. Flying ants have two sets of wings, and the hind wings are much smaller than the front wings, but the termites’ front and back wings are virtually the same in size and length. Also, the termite’s abdomen is widely joined with the thorax, but the ants’ thorax and abdomen are linked with a narrow waist, referred to as a petiole.

Identifying Termites and Flying Ants

Begin by capturing the insect without damaging it, and contain it in a small bottle. With the aid of a magnifying glass, inspect the insect for distinguishing differences as described above. Pay special attention to the wings. A termite’s wings have a milky, gray-white color while an ant’s wings are clear and the veins are easily discernible.

Taking the Next Step

Remember that, generally speaking, termites and flying ants should not be a source of worry unless they gain entrance into your home. If that happens, contact a pest control company in your area to come and assess the situation, with special emphasis on the crawl space underneath the structure. If the inspection reveals that your house is infested with flying ants or termites, you will want to take appropriate action at once. Compile three or more estimates from reliable sources for pest control, and evaluate the prices, services, and warranties each company has to offer before making your choice.



Shirpat T. Kambel, “Termites,” University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension. N.d., Web. 27 August 2010.

Rick Steinau, “Flying Ants vs. Termites,” N.d., Web. 27 August 2010.

“Flying Ants and Termites,” Johnston County Center News, August 27, 2010. Web. 27 August 2010.

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