Flying Termites vs Flying Ants Difference

How good are you at identifying pests? Having difficulty identifying the flying insects in your house? Some insects can actually look similar, in this article, the flying termites vs flying ants is our focus.  Here, we are to give you detailed information on each of these creatures.

Flying Termites vs Flying Ants

For property homeowners, a swarm of flying insects is the first noticeable blue sign of termite infestation. Nonetheless, flying ants could also constitute these swarming insects; (that is, not all swarming insects are termites; there is a possibility of flying insects) Pest control experts are drilled to differentiate between flying ants and termites, and this training is based on some physical traits.

Flying Termites Vs Flying Ants
Flying termites vs flying ants

Flying Termites vs Flying Ants Difference

Despite the difference between ants and termites, people still find it difficult to differentiate them at a first look. For you to differentiate them, you need to study the differences between them.

Read also: Do Termites Fly? Facts About Termite Movement

Physical Differences

A nigher glance at these insects understudy will reveal notable physical differences that will enable effortless identification of a termite from a carpenter ant. Use of a magnifying glass or a brightly shining torch will enable you to see them with your naked eyes.

Body shape

When you closely look at the insect’s body with the abdominal area in mind, you will discover that a termite has no waist, it has a rectangular body without any narrowing center. While the carpenter ant has a well-defined narrow body with a constricted waist.


An insect’s antenna has a lot to say about it. While a termite has straight, beaded antennae, a carpenter ant has a bent or elbowed antenna.


Though these two creatures have four wings each, it is one of the outstanding differences they have.  A termite’s wings are equal in size and shape and are longer than its body. While a carpenter ant’s fore wings are longer than its back, hing wings. and these wings do not look weird on them. Termites have fragile wings that easily fall off. These are the wings you spot around the house and gives you a warning sign of infestation. Carpenter ants on the other hand have stronger wings compared to that of a termite.


This is another way to differentiate between termites and carpenter ants. While carpenter ants workers are reddish or dark-colored and are often seen in the open searching for food. Termite workers are translucent, light, or creamy white, and they stay away from light. Unless their nest is disturbed, termites are hardly noticed.

Read also: What Do Ants Eat and Drink; A Detailed Insight into Ant Diet

Behavior Differences

The two insects exist in large colonies with well-defined caste systems. Termites find shelter in decaying trees, stumps, wood debris, lumber, and the wooden parts of a structure/furniture. While some ants, like carpenter ants, also live in wood and wooden structures. Termites are wood eaters as such can cause severe structural damage while carpenter ants do not eat wood as such can not cause structural damage.

Food Differences

They have different diets. Termites feed on cellulose, a nutrient-rich material in plants. They also feed on wood, paper, and other cellulose-rich material. Ants, on the other hand, are omnivores, they feed on nectar, seeds, other insects, and food debris found around the home.

Difference In Life Cycle

Ants pass through the egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages of development. While worker ants live for a few months, queens can exist for years.

Termite has three stages of development: egg, nymph (larvae), and adult phases. And just like ants, worker termites live for a couple of years, while termite queens can live for decades.

Reproductive System

Ants and termites have a similar reproductive cycle. Fertile winged ants and termites fly from their nests to mate and start a new colony during warm months.

After mating, male ants practically die off. While male and female termites live after mating to establish more colonies.  Ants and termites shed their wings after mating.

Controlling Carpenter Ants and Termites

Because of the difference between carpenter ants and termites, effective control measures will also differ. Carpenter ants can be easily handled by removing every enabling condition that encourages them. While termite infestation will need professional control.

When you are not sure of what that winged ant-like insects, you have to get a sample of it for comparison and identification. Show it to an entomologist or pest control professional for identification.

To control ants and termites, a multi-prolonged approach using various chemicals to eliminate existing insects and stop a future infestation. And more importantly the replacement of already infested furniture.

Flying Termites vs Flying Ants Video


Ants and termites have striking resemblances but still very different. Their differences range from physical properties to behavioral differences. They also have food and color differences. All these put together with help you identify and differentiate when necessary.

With these differences, they have different treatment and control measures. With this article, you can confidently tell an ant from a termite. Ensure drop a comment

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