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Is it a Flying Ant or Flying Termite?

Termites.  The word most home owners dread — especially when in the process of buying or selling a home.  If you suspect you have termites because you’ve seen the actual bug, keep reading.  There are other tell tale signs you have termites, and chances are you won’t SEE them but just in case here’s what to look for:1

Winged ants are often mistaken for winged termites. These insects can be distinguished from one another by three main characteristics:

The ant’s body is pinched in the middle, giving it the appearance of having a thin waist, while the termite’s body is not pinched.

The ant’s hind wings are smaller than its front wings, while the termite’s front and hind wings are about the same size. Wings might not always be present, however, as both species eventually lose them.

Winged female and worker ants have elbowed antennae, while the termite’s antennae are not elbowed.

Termites and ants both construct nests in moist wood, but ant nests are typically smoother and lack mud structures commonly found in termite nests. Also, termites actually subsist on wood, so the structural damage they leave it their wake is generally more severe than that caused by ants, which merely tunnel through wood.

Scot Sidener

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