Are they ants with wings or termites?
We are getting this question several times a day right now, both the Raleigh area and the Fayetteville area are full of termite swarmers, so I thought I would put up another post on this topic. I have included a picture to compare Termite swarmers to ants, that is a little easier to understand and makes a really good comparison. There are actually several ways to tell the difference between the two but most of them require getting closer than the average homeowner wants to get. So here are a few very simple ways to distinguish the two, and have a little bit of info before you call a professional.
- Both termites and ants can have wings, the difference here is in the size of the wings. The wings of a termite are all the same size and are often found detached near a window or door because termite swarmers are attracted to light and will usually detach their wings when they stop flying. Ants on the other hand will usually have different sized wings. They will also sometimes detach their wings. So if you find insect wings on a window sill and they are different sizes they are probably ants. If they are all the same size the chances are they are termites.
- Ants clearly have three body segments, you don’t have to get too close to tell this. If the insect has a thin waste line and you can clearly see three segments (including the head), it is an ant. If on the other hand it seems like the insect doesn’t have a waste and its entire body is similar to the width of it’s head then there is a good chance you have termites.
- The antenna is another good way to tell the difference between ants and termites. The antenna of an ant are elbowed, you will clearly see a bend in the antenna. The antenna of a termite are almost straight, they may curve a little but there will be no actual bend in a termites antenna.