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Termites vs. Flying Ants


Have you ever seen a termite swarm? It’s quite a remarkable sight to see, but with all the reproductive termites emerging and then swarming by the hundreds or even thousands, it is definitely cause for alarm. These pests devour all sorts of wood and can cause serious structural damage to your home and your belongings. Swarming termites do not physically hurt you or your family, but ignoring them or not taking preventative action against them can be quite detrimental to your home. Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming these flying pests are ants and not termites. These two pests are similar looking so identifying them one way or the other can be difficult to the untrained eye. The professionals at Rottler would like to help you recognize the differences between flying ants and termites so that you know when to act against possibly damaging pests.


Flying ants and swarmer termites may look similar but there are actually a lot of physical differences between them.

  1. The antennae: Termite antennae are straight and beaded. The antennae of flying ants are bent, or elbowed.
  2. The body: The bodies of a swarmer termite are made up of a head and a lower section. They have a broad waistline. Flying ants have three distinctive body parts- a head, an abdomen and a thorax. They have more pinched waistlines as well.
  3. The wings: Flying termites have four wings, all equal in size. The wings are broken very easily and can commonly be found in areas where a termite swarm has occurred. Flying ants also have four wings, but they have two larger wings in front and two smaller wings behind. The wings of  flying ants are stronger and do not break off as easily.


These tips should make identifying these flying pests a little easier for you. If you would like a professional to help with identification, don’t hesitate to contact us at Rottler. With Spring coming up quickly, this is the ideal time for these insects to be looking for new places to call home. For more information on Rottler’s termite and pest services, contact us today!

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