If you see ants with wings in or very near your home don’t panic and assume that they’re winged-swarming termites. It’s easy to mistake the two if you don’t know their differences. Here they are.

Identifying the Differences Between Flying Ants and Termites


A termite has a white, creamy color and a relatively wide waist with a broad non-segmented body, as compared to an ant’s very narrow waist and body with well-defined sections. If you see insects that appear to be white ants you’re looking at termites—“white ants” don’t exist.


Both species have four wings, but a winged-swarming termite has wings that are all the same size and are about two times the length of its body. An ant that has wings has ones that are more proportionate to the size of its body, and has one large and small set—the larger pair are in the front (nearest its head) and the smaller pair in the back.


The antennae on termites are nearly straight, whereas the antennae of winged ants typically have a kind of elbow curve.

Now That You Can Distinguish a Winged-Swarming Termite From an Ant With Wings…

If you spot flying termites, known as swarmers, it’s very likely that you have an infestation. The termites have exited their nest to find a mate and to create a new colony. That new colony could be inside of your home.

Discarded wings are a telltale sign of a swarm that has taken up residence in your home. You may find wings shed near closed windows, doors, or other points of entry into your house. Once termites locate a new place to colonize, they twist off their wings since they will no longer need them. They may have chosen your home as their new address.

Different Species of Ants

There are many species of ants, including the Argentine ant, bullet ant, red wood ant, little black ant, black garden ant, carpenter ant, weaver ant, leafcutter ant, fire ant, and the pharaoh ant, to name a few. They can range in color, from black, to copper or gold.

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