How to Correctly Distinguish Termites from Ants

Of the many home invaders, a lot of people find it hard to tell the difference between termites and ants during a construction debris removal project. These two closely resemble each other that it’s easy to mistake one for the other. Although they somehow look identical, a closer inspection will reveal some very telling differences. Homeowners must be able to recognize the distinct body patterns of termites and ants especially when they start swarming into the house in their winged forms. The following is a guide on how to correctly identify termites from the ants.

It is a natural habit of termites to do their colony expansion by sending out winged members of their colony. But this particular habit isn’t only natural to the termite species. Many species of ants also send out paratroopers into the air on their own. In their alate forms, these two insects appear like twins especially when they are almost of the same size and they bear the same number of legs and wings.

Contrary to what a lot of people believe, it is actually very easy to tell a termite from an ant. One doesn’t even need a microscope in order to spot the difference between the two. An individual only needs to take a close look at the bodies of these creatures.

Inspecting the body of the termite, you will quickly see that it possesses two visible body segments. These segments are made up of the head and the body. The ants, on the other hand, will have three distinct body parts which are comprised of the head, abdomen and thorax. In the waist department, ants are considered sexier with their narrowly constricted waist. Termites meanwhile possess a thicker waist.

Now, let’s tell these creatures apart through their antennae and wings. Termites will typically be seen with straight antennae whereas the ant antennae appear bent at an angle. If you look closely, the termite antennae will resemble like a string of beads, too.

As for their set of wings, both these species have known two pairs of wings. When you spread the wings out, all four termite wings will come out in the same lengths. Ant wings, on the other hand, will reveal to have large front wings and two shorter rear wings.

By learning these identifying characteristics, you will be able to discern properly what type of swarms invades your house. Swarms of flying ants don’t necessarily imply that there is termite infestation in the house. Seeing flying termites, nevertheless, should be a cause of alarm because it means obvious termite activity within your property.

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