Termites vs Ants
Termites look a lot like ants, which is one of the reasons why many individuals mistake termites for ants. As a matter of fact, termites have been referred to as “flying ants.” When being referred to as flying ants, this is because the termites that have been seen are the reproductives when they are flying to find a home. This is an act that is called “swarming” and is the point in which termites are mostly mistaken as ants. Once the reproductives find a home, they breed and form colonies. They lose those wings after they breed.
But although we have seen ants many times, we are not aware of the many times we have seen termites because of their resemblance of ants. It is possible, however, that you may not have seen termites as much as you have seen ants since they tend to live underground and in dark places.
How They Are Alike
There are ways in which ants and subterranean termites are alike, although they are very different. First, they do come into your home. Termites are looking to feed on wood and other materials in your home, while ants are in search of food to take back to their colony, which is usually a mound somewhere in the ground. You will see a trail of ants leading in the home and the trail then leads out. Sometimes, they do become rather lost and can end up in other places around your home.
Their body structure seems very much alike although they are different. There are some subtle details that can set them apart. One way in which termites are set apart from ants is the color of the worker ants. They are pale in color where ants tend to be black or brown in color.
There are some types of termites, however, that are the same in color. They are black just like ants and this, again, makes them hard to distinguish from termites. Because of this mistaken identity, many individuals fail to have their homes treated for termites, which can then lead to extensive structural damage that is expensive and dangerous to them and their families.
How They Are Different
When you look at the antennae of ants and termites, you will see that ants have beaded antennae and ants have elbowed antennae. In termites, their fore wings and their hind wings are the same size, but in ants their fore wings are larger than their hind wings. Termites also have a broad waist, while the waist of an ant is constricted.
The head of a termite is even different in shape. A termite’s is more oblong, while an ant’s is more rounded. The termite also has what appear to be pinchers and an ant does not. That’s if you can be close enough to the termite to see the pinchers. In many cases, you are not going to see this very defining feature.
If you are concerned that the insects in and around your home are termites but you aren’t sure, you can call a termite control service to take a look and eliminate the problem. Even if you would have a lot of ants coming in and out of your home, you need to have the issue taken care of. Nevertheless, if you see bugs swarming around your foundation, steps, around tree stumps, and anywhere else in or around your home, you should have the problem taken care of as soon as possible. By learning the differences between termites and ants and having the problem taken care of as soon as possible, you minimize the damage that the termites can do to your home.