What is the Difference Between Flying Ants and Termites?

Around June of each year, our pest control staff at Superior Pest Solutions get the same question: “Flying ants and termites are the same thing right?” The question is totally understandable but the answer is “no.”

There are a lot of things about termites and flying ants that people are not aware of, and a lot of things about them that people are aware of that are not true. Today, we are going to go over both of these things, and look at what is the difference between flying ants and termites.

What Are Flying Ants?

First, we have to understand what flying ants are and what they are not. An ant is an insect that has 3 segments: head, thorax and abdomen. 

Flying ants have wings during the reproductive stage of their lives. Flying away to start a new colony prevents overpopulation and competition for resources. 

What are Termites?

Termites are much larger than flying ants and they construct much bigger mounds. 

Unlike flying ants, termites can be extremely destructive. They love to chew things like wood and even drywall to get the materials out. Termites can cause widespread damage and are considered one of the worst pests in the world. Some reports estimate that termites cause damage to at least 600,000 homes and businesses per year. 

What is the Difference Between Flying Ants and Termites?

While they may look similar to some people, the fact remains that flying ants and termites are nothing alike. 

  • There’s nothing that even closely relates a flying ant to a termite even scientifically
  • Ants have three body segments, while termites have a tubular multisegmented shape.
  • Most ants prefer to eat insects and other organic materials
  • Termites prefer to chew through unprocessed wood and other materials to get at the cellulose which they use for food. 

The Thing That People Are Not Aware of About Termites Is

There are two types of termites: social and worker/soldier. In the social termite, the queen and other reproductive individuals live and feed in wood or other cellulose materials, which they use to construct galleries in which they live. 

The Thing That People Are Not Aware of About Flying Ants Is

Flying ants are actually known as alates. Alates is just another term for “swarmer”. Flying termites are also known as alates. These bugs do tend to move in large swarms. It makes it much easier for them to mate.  

Keep Both Flying Ants and Termites Out of Your Home

In New Jersey, it pays to know the difference between ants and termites. We’ve been in business since 1987. That means we know more than a fair amount about removing flying ants, termites or any other type of pest from your home or business. 

Contact Superior Pest Solutions today for a free estimate today.