July 20, 2020

The Difference Between Termites and Flying Ants

It’s termite “swarming season.” For homeowners, having swarms of flying insects around their homes can really be quite disturbing! We often get questions about the difference between termites and flying ants. The distinction is important! Flying ants are generally just a pesky but harmless nuisance, while termites can cause lots of expensive damage to your home. 

Most people can easily tell the difference between a wingless worker ant and wingless worker termite – the termite is soft-bodied, light colored and rarely seen out in the open, while the ant is dark with a hard shell, and is often seen in and around the home. It’s harder, however, to tell the difference between termites and ants when they are in their winged reproductive stage – otherwise known as “swarmers” – here are some guidelines:

Physical Difference Between Flying Ants and Termites


  • Have no waist – their  body is shaped like a cigar
  • Straight antennae
  • Have four wings of equal size and shape that are longer than their bodies


  • Have a defined, narrow “hourglass” waist
  • Appear distinctly “segmented”
  • Have bent or “elbowed” antennae
  • Have four wings – back wings shorter than the front wings

Not sure if they’re ants or termites? Give us a call and we can double-check so you can either rest easy or get started on protecting your home from extensive termite damage.

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