Termites vs Ants: Are They Termites or Ants?

Termites vs Ants: Are They Termites or Ants?

Last updates October 1, 2016: When there are swarms of flying insects outside of your home, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell the difference between a swarm of termites and a swarm of flying ants.

As we said, they look very similar to each other (in fact, termites and ants do not have relatives with each other. Based on DNA evidence, the scientists have shown that termites have kinship closest to the wood-eating cockroaches).

Termite swarmers

Termite swarmers

When it comes to killing termites, knowing the difference between termites and ants is very very important, because termites might cause extensive, extremely expensive damage to your house, whereas ants are simply just a nuisance. Therefore, the first thing you should do is to identify the insects you found are termites or ants.

Ant swarmers

Ant swarmers

So, how to know they are termites or ants? This article, Termites vs Ants will help you finding the difference between termites and ants very quickly.

Termites vs Ants

Most people wouldn’t confuse a wingless worker termite with a wingless worker ant. It is just harder to identify the difference between them in their winged reproductive stage, otherwise known as swarmers (or alates). When termite swarmers swarm, they are often misidentified as ant swarmers. 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:

  • The antenna shape.
  • The waist size.
  • And the wings size.

The picture below will illustrate these points:

Termites vs Ants: Are They Termites or Ants?

Termite vs Ant

1. The antenna shape: Antenna on termites are straight and beaded, but antenna on ants are elbowed.

2. The waist size: Termites have broad waist whereas ants have narrow waist (look like bees).

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

Ok, That’s It

So, you can easy tell the difference between termites and ants now. Let’s do a quick test. Based on their identifying characteristics, which one is an ant and which one is a termite?

Termite and Ant Testing

Termite and Ant Testing

Don’t look on the other’s answering, just comment your thinking. Left or Right is termite.

4