Suddenly your yard or porch is covered in winged insects. They do not seem to fly very well, crashing into objects and not getting very far. They are here one day and gone the next. These are breeders looking to soon shed their wings and set up new colonies. Could they be merely ants or termites? Here are a few ways to tell.
1. Look At the Bodies
Ant bodies are much different in shape than termite bodies. Termites are shaped like tubes with rounded ends. Ants have large heads and pinched or wasp waists. Ants have waists like wasps because they are related to wasps. Termites are related to cockroaches and therefore have less curvy bodies.
2. Look At the Antennae
Antennae look like little legs on the insect’s head. In ants, each antenna is bent as if there was joint in the middle of the antenna. In termites, an antenna is straight. When insects die, the antennae may get crumpled, so try to look at how the antennae are shaped while the insects are still alive. If this is impossible, take a dead insect, place it in a resealable bag and call an exterminator to make a positive identification.
3. Look at the Wings
Both winged ants and winged termites will sport two sets of wings. In the ant, the first set of wings (the pair near the head) are much longer than the second set. With termites, both sets of wings are the same length. Ant wings are smaller in proportion to their body size. Termite wings are nearly twice as long as their bodies. Both flying ants and termites shed their wings after they fly from the nests where they were hatched. You may see a large pile of wings and not a single insect.
When determining if that sudden swarm of winged insects are ants or termites, look at the bodies, antennae and wings. If you still have questions about how to tell what kind of winged insect you have, contact our termite control company in Phoenix today.