Flying Ants vs. Termites—How to Tell the Difference

By admin | Blog |

Spring is nearly here, and it’s time for termites to be on your mind. Often this time of year, there are two pests which are mistaken for one another: flying termites and flying ants. We’re breaking down how to tell the two apart, and what to do if you encounter either in your home in the coming weeks.

Flying Termites

Each year around this time, termite swarmers, also known as alates, leave their colonies to find mates and establish new termite colonies through reproduction. Warm spring weather prompts swarmers to emerge in large groups, and seeing them in or around your home is not a good sign. 

Even though you don’t have to worry about termite swarmers biting your family or pets or damaging the wood of your home, they are a surefire indication that you have an underlying termite problem in your home. You may notice discarded insect wings, or even see small, winged insects emerging from your home’s walls, as these termites surface from nearby underground nesting areas. If you notice swarmers outside, it’s likely the nest is somewhere in your yard; on the other hand, if you see termite swarmers INSIDE, there is very likely a termite infestation under your home. 

What Do Flying Termites Look Like?

Termite swarmers have straight antennae, broad waists, and four wings all of equal size.

Flying Ants

Like termite swarmers, flying ants will take flight in large groups or swarms, looking for opportunities to reproduce and expand their colonies. The swarming behavior is the ants’ natural defense mechanism against potential predators (strength in numbers!). After mating, male ants will die, and female ants will seek out new nesting sites. 

Even though termite swarmers are much more of a concern than flying ants, if you see swarming insects in or around your home, it’s a call for concern. If there’s a swarm inside your home or already there, you likely have established pest colonies nearby which will need to be treated.

What Do Flying Ants Look Like?

Flying ants have elbowed antennae, thin waists that pinch in, two large wings, and two small wings.

Protect Your Home This Termite Season—Schedule a Free Termite Inspection Now

If you think you may have termite swarmers or flying ants in your home, the first step to take is to call in a professional Long Island exterminator with a trained eye as soon as possible before your home potentially gets damaged. Suburban Exterminating offers free inspections, and our team is highly trained in identifying and treating termite infestations.

For your free inspection, call or text (631/516) 864-6900