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Termite vs. Winged-Ant

One of the key aspects of dealing with pests is proper identification. Different pests have different habits, physiologies, and weaknesses and will all need to be dealt with differently. The unfortunate part is that some of them look very similar to each other. Winged ants and termites are a prime example of this. So, how do you tell the difference between a termite and a winged ant?

The Antenna
The antenna is one of the easy ways to distinguish termites from winged ants. Termites will have straight to slightly curved antenna coming off their heads. Winged ants, on the other hand, have a distinct elbow in their antenna.

The Body
The body is another area in which the two insects differ. The body of an ant will be segmented with a narrow waist, much like a wasp. Termites, however, have a fairly uniform width along their whole body. This is probably the easiest way to tell them apart.

The Wings
The final way to tell the difference between ants and termites is the wings. Both have two sets of wings, but in ants, the front wings are larger than the rear ones. Both sets of termite wings are the same size. Termite wings are also twice as long as their bodies, making them look somewhat disproportional to their body size. Ant wings also tend to be fairly clear and have few veins, while termite wings tend to be somewhat milky and have many veins.

This way of telling them apart can be a little tricky though, so you’re better off sticking to the other two methods and not really worrying about the wings unless you're stumped.

Why is it important to know?
It’s important to know what you’re dealing with in pest control. Some pests respond better to different tactics than others. Termites are more tenacious, and often far more damaging to structures than ants and will require more aggressive tactics.

If you have any questions regarding pest control in Southern Louisiana please feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you with all your pest control needs, including pest identification and eradication.