What's The Difference Between Flying Termites and Flying Ants?
Pests are never a fun sight, especially flying termites and flying ants. While flying ants are more of a nuisance, flying termites (also known as ‘swarming’ and ‘reproductive’ termites) are cause for concern. Flying termites signify that a new termite colony may be on its way. This article is intended to inform you of the difference between flying termites and flying ants.
What and When is Swarm Season?
Swarm season is when flying termites and ants reproduce and form new colonies. You may start to see flying termites in your yard as early as March, with flying ants arriving shortly after. Both termite and ant swarm seasons happen in the spring as temperatures begin to rise.
Flying termites and ants are the reproductive insects responsible for traveling out and finding new areas to make nests. This is an important stage in the reproductive cycle known as the Nuptial Flight. Upon doing so, they shed their wings and start their quest to build the colony. If your home is unprotected, these swarming termites may make a colony in your yard.
Ants don’t pose the same threat to your home as termites do. According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage yearly. It’s easy to brush off an insect swarm like flying ants or gnats, but often the most obvious sign of a termite infestation is an above-ground swarm.
Physical Differences Between Flying Termites and Flying Ants
- Termites have straight antennae, while ants have elbowed antennae.
- Termites have broad, thick waists, while ants have a pinched waist with 3 distinct body segments.
- Both have 2 pairs of wings, 4 wings total. Termite wings are equal in length, while ants have one long pair of wings and one short pair of wings.
- Termite wings are longer than their bodies, while ant wings are short and more proportionate to their bodies.
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