What Are the Differences Between Flying Ants and Termites?

two white ants are walking

Ants and termites are two of the most common pests in the world. These insects have a similar appearance, and it can be difficult to tell one from the other, especially if you’re dealing with swarmers. Swarmers are insects with wings and fly to new locations to start new colonies. Knowing the differences between these two insects can help you control their populations and keep your home safe from infestations.

So what are the differences between flying ants and termites? Termites and flying ants differ in appearance, eating habits, natural habitat, and life cycle.

1. Appearance

When it comes to these insects’ appearances, you can tell them apart through their wings, antennas, and bodies.

  • Wings: Both termites and flying ants have four wings, but their wing shapes and sizes differ. The wings of a termite are all the same size and length, while those of an ant vary in shape and size. Flying ants have more enormous wings in the front and smaller in the back.
  • Antennae: When looking at both insects, you will notice that their antennae are different. The termite’s antennae are straight, while those of a flying ant is bent. In addition, flying ant antennas are longer than those of a termite.
  • Body: Termites and flying ants have different body structures as well. A termite’s body is straight and uniform in size. On the other hand, a flying ant’s body is pinched at the waist, making their bodies appear segmented.

2. Eating Habits

Termites primarily feed on wood, and the kind of wood they eat depends on their species. For example, subterranean termites will feed on moist wood and have started to show signs of decay. Dry wood termites like to consume wood that’s dry and hard. Aside from wood, a termite’s diet consists of other cellulose-based materials such as paper, cardboard, and clothing.

On the other hand, flying ants mainly eat nectar and pollen found in flowers. They can also feed on various types of plant matter, including leaves, roots, and fruits.

3. Natural Habitat

The natural habitat of termites varies depending on their species. Some species live underground, while others live in the wood they’re feeding on.

Flying ants, however, live in many places around the world. Most commonly, flying ants live near water sources, where they can forage for food. They like to nest in areas with abundant amounts of vegetation, especially trees.

4. Life Cycle

The termite life cycle consists of three stages: egg, larvae, and adult. Worker termites live for about two years, and their queens live between 25 and 50 years.

On the other hand, the ant life cycle consists of four stages: egg, larval, pupal, and adult. The average lifespan of a worker ant is one year, and the queen of a colony can live for almost 30 years.

Professional Pest Control at ALF Lawn & Pest Solutions

Here at ALF Lawn & Pest Solutions, we can help you identify the differences between flying ants and termites. Our team offers professional pest control services to keep your home safe and free from pests. To know more about how we can help, you may call us today at 844-369-TURF.

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