How to Tell the Difference Between Termites and Flying Ants

flying ant controlWhen you notice a swarm of ants in your kitchen, it’s easy to assume how you’re dealing with termites, especially if you live in the South. Maybe you’re not dealing with termites at all, but you have a well-established colony of flying ants. Either way, termites can do significant harm to your home structure, so it’s important to know some main differences between the two pests.

There are easy ways to determine if your home is a hiding place for a termite colony or a flying ant colony.


Termites* may be secretly hiding in your home without any visible signs, so it’s no wonder termites are often called the silent destroyers. These insects consume cellulose-based plant materials that are a part of every home’s structure.

A termite colony eats non-stop, 24 hours a day, and that’s why they’re considered dangerous insects. Once they establish a mature colony, you can see winged termites flying around. This is usually a sign of an infestation.

Flying Ants

Usually, ants are wingless, but at certain times of the year, swarms of flying ants are a common sight. They’re usually called reproductives. When they’re found inside a home, that usually means a colony has already been established.

It’s never good to see flying ants inside your home, especially during the winter months. This is usually a sign of an ant nest somewhere near or inside your home. When you notice them, you should immediately inspect your property and try to find the nest. After the inspection, locate possible entry points and seal them with silicone caulk. All in all, the most effective solution is to call a pest control professional to effectively deal with the ant infestation.

The Differences between Termites and Flying Ants

Termites and flying ants are easily mistaken for one another, but there are a few simple ways to tell the difference between the two insects. It’s important to know the difference so you can better assess the pest control problem at hand.

Winged Termites

  • They have a straight waist and their antennae are straight.
  • Their wings are symmetrical and equal in size.
  • Winged termites swarm in spring when it’s rainy and warm outside.

Flying Ants

  • They have a pinched waist and bent antennae.
  • They have two sets of wings, one larger than the other.
  • They may swarm during the spring, summer, and even winter depending on the species.

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.

* Please note that Aerex does not currently treat for termites.

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