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War in the backyard: Flying Ants Vs. Termites

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War in the backyard: Flying Ants Vs. Termites

Suppose you are sitting in your backyard, relaxing and enjoying nature. You see a small insect, and suddenly you become stressed. Is it a termite? Or is the small insect a flying ant? Confused? Well, you are not the only one. Many homeowners living in Tennessee have trouble differentiating between flying ants and termites. However, correctly determining the type of insect is vital, as both these creatures affect you and your home in different ways. They also both require different methods to get rid of them.

To make sure you are informed about these pests, we have created this blog comparing flying ants vs termites. Here we list out some differences.

Flying Ants vs Termites: The Difference

Although both these insects may look similar when you see them at a distance, that is where the similarities end. Flying ants and termites have many differences, and it is important to know which pest is at your house. Read the section below to learn the differences between flying ants vs termites. 

Color:

Color is one of the easiest ways to differentiate between these two pests. If you were to look at a flying ant and a termite side by side, you would see that they are quite different in color. A flying ant has a black body with red wings and an abdomen. They usually have a black or a reddish-brown color. Flying termites are a creamish color. They have a lighter shade, usually white or light brown, though some of them can be black in color.

Appearance:

Flying ants and termites have similar body types. However, if seen closely, you can see some slight differences. Flying ants have a more narrow body and a well-defined structure. These insects have a pinched body with an extremely narrow waist. On the other hand, termites have a flat, oblong body type. Termites are generally larger than flying ants but this is not always the case. Subterranean termite workers range from 3/8″ to 1/2″ long while most subterranean colony queens measure around 3/4″- 2’’ long. If you see that the pest in your home has a broader, rectangular shape, then it is most likely a termite.

flying ants vs termites
Image Source: prnewswire.com

Wings And Antennae

You can look at the antennae of the insects to determine whether they are ants or termites. Ants’ antennae are bent, while termites’ antennae are straight. It’s enough to tell these insects apart so you can determine what kind of pest problem you have.

Another way these insects are different is due to their style of the wings. Flying ants and winged termites, like the majority of the insects, have four wings each. The look of their wings can help you determine the pest that you are dealing with.

When it comes to termites, all four wings, hind and front are equal in size. A flying ant has wings of unequal length. Its fore wings are larger in size while its hind wings are smaller. In addition to flying and feeding, wings are crucial for a fly’s survival. Flies can use their wings for defense, communication, mating and cooling.

Lifespan

This is another basis of difference in the flying ants vs termites debate. The longer a pest lives the longer it can damage your property. Usually termites have a longer lifespan compared to flying ants.

A queen termite (the largest termite and the oldest termite of the family) can live for decades. Regular termites also can last for years. They also have the ability to form larger colonies.

Flying ants do not live as long as termites. Flying ants have an even shorter lifespan than Queen ants—most of them live only a few months before dying off during wintertime.

Behavior

Termites and flying ants are both known for forming large colonies, but these colonies can act quite differently.

There should be no surprise in the fact that how much termites love wood as termite colonies make decayed wood their home. These termites have a hierarchy as well. They are divided in the form of workers, swarmers as well as soldiers that can chew through your furniture. These termites can cause serious damage to your home and furniture. Look out for mud tubes, a tube made by subterranean termites made of soil and wood.

Like termites, ants can also destroy wood. These ants, especially carpenter ants, excavate their nests by digging into wood. They don’t eat the wood; they push it out of their way to create passages for their colonies. These leave small piles of wood shavings and shards as they go forward. You can find these ants near sources of food, carcasses, etc.

Diet

One other major difference between these types of pests is that they feed on different types of things, and they do not have a similar diet.

Termites are social insects that live in colonies, called “nests”. A termite colony can have one queen or multiple queens. Termites are attracted to cellulose, and the diet of termites is primarily composed of cellulose-filled materials such as wood, cardboards and also paper.

Flying ants are known to eat a variety of foods, including nectar, honeydew and other insects.

How To Get Rid Of These Pests?

Now that you know how to tell these pests apart, let’s talk about how you can get rid of them both!

When comparing flying ants vs termites, you will find that both have the potential to damage your backyard as well as the interior of your home. While a flying ant is not as destructive as termites, it can still cause major damage to your home. Though there are some DIY methods such as sprays and setting baits to remove ants and termites, these are never guaranteed to work. If you have any pest problems at your home or business, you should contact a pest control company as quickly as possible.

Don’t Let These Pests Hurt Your Home! Contact Us Today

We hope that this article has helped you to better understand the differences between flying ants and termites. If your home or backyard is infested with termites or ants, contact the team at Jamison Pest and Lawn today. We have been serving the Tennessee area for years, and we make sure that your property is clear from any annoying pests.

Our team provides the best termite control services including a liquid treatment that keeps the termites at bay. Contact us today at (901) 452-1505 to protect your home from pests and the damage they can cause.