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How to Tell the Difference: Termites Vs. Flying Ants

Posted on February 26th, 2016 by Knockout Pest Control

The case of the mistaken identity has struck again! There are two insects that look very similar, but one is far more dangerous than the other. When you see these little pests in or around your home, you should know if they’re flying ants or termites.

When you find one of these pests, grab a jar and try to capture one. This will allow you to take a closer look at it and see which species is infesting your home.

Flying Ants

  • Antennae: Bent
  • Waist: Narrow
  • Wings: Front Larger Than Hind


  • Antennae: Straight
  • Waist: Broad
  • Wings: Equal in Size

Other Telltales
Let’s say you can’t capture one of these little guys, how else can you tell the difference between them? Unlike flying ants, termites will leave behind discarded materials. Their fecal matter will usually be left in small piles that resemble sawdust. When termites mate, some will discard their wings and leave them behind for you to find. Termites will also leave behind small pencil hole sized mud tubes to keep a high level of moisture in their environment.

Species of Ants
There are a few species of ant that will be born with wings that are often mistaken for termites. They include the Pavement ant, Odorous House ant, Carpenter ant, and Red Imported Fire ant. Each one of these ants can mimic the swarming of termites which can alarm some homeowners.

Whether you see a termite, a flying ant, or neither, it’s best to have your home inspected for termites. Just because you can’t see an infestation, doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist. To learn more about termite infestations, or to schedule an appointment with Knockout Pest Control, give us a call at (800) 244-7378.

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