Termites or Ants?

Often our customers bring us samples of bugs to identify.  This time of year we get a lot of ants and termite swarmers.  Both are dark in color, about the same size, and have wings.  The video above is of termite swarmers.  They have straight antennae, a thick waist, and both pairs of wings are the same size.

Ants are different in that they have elbowed antennae, a narrow waist (or three distinct body parts), and the front wings are longer than the back wings.  See the picture below.

Ant Swarmer versus Termite Swarmer

Ant Swarmer versus Termite Swarmer


Both termite and ants have wings at this time of the year but termites swarm in the thousands where as ants travel in smaller numbers. Swarmers are termites which are sent out to start new colonies. Swarms usually generate panic calls from homeowners who suddenly see what can be thousands of winged termites appearing in a living room or basement or even outside. Termites don’t bite so don’t worry, but a swarm where it appears that termites are being “pumped” out into the air, can be alarming. Swarms are an indication that termites are present and that a healthy colony may be nearby. Sometimes termites will swarm soon after an area is treated by a pest control operator. It is generally felt that this is a panic swarm where the termites are trying to escape the stress put on the colony by the treatment.

If you find termite tubes, which are vertical mud tubes, or experience a swarm, call our office today to have an inspection. Keep some swarmers for us to look at, and we’ll discuss a treatment program that is just right for you.  You can reach us at 765-423-1225 or toll free 800-686-6205 or email us pictures at office@callreliable.com.

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