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How to Tell the Difference Between Ants and Termites

Termites can cause major structural damage to homes and other buildings as well as wooden furniture. People usually only see termites inside when an infestation is already well established, though you may also find termites outside around dead tree stumps, rotting boards or other debris.

Termite colonies are divided into different classes, and most termites only come out in the dark. The most common class that you will see outside of the colony is the alate class, or winged termite. Winged termites are a reproductive class and they swarm before they mate. This is also true of ants.

It can be difficult to identify the difference between termites and ants in their winged reproductive stage, otherwise known as swarmer’s.

When termite swarmer’s are active, they are often misidentified as ant swarmer’s. This is a common mistake because they look very similar to each other (they both have black bodies with wings).

However, there are three very simple characteristics to look for that can be used to know the difference between a winged termite and a winged ant.

They are:

  1. The antenna shape

  2. The waist size

  3. And the wings size

Antennae shape: The antennae on termites are straight and beaded, but antennae on ants are bent or elbowed in shape.

Waist size: Termites have a broad waist; whereas ants have narrow a waist (similar to that of a bee).

Wing size: Termite has both pairs of wings are same size, whereas ant has front wings longer than hind wings.

Additionally, ant workers are reddish or dark colored and often times seen in the open foraging for food. Termite workers are transparent, light or creamy white in color and avoid light. So they are not typically seen unless their nest is disturbed.

Although both are winged during their reproductive state, the wings of the termite fall off easily and can often be seen near the opening to the termite-nesting site.

AJC Williams Extermination will create a custom treatment plan formulated for your specific needs to tackle and eliminate either of these two pests you may be encountering.

So if “Something is Bugging You” contact us today!

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