flying ants vs termites differences

Red Flying Ants vs Termites (7 Differences with Pictures)

So flying ants vs termites, what is the primary difference? Most people think they are the same as they look the same.

But if you look closely, you will notice the difference, and I will tell you how to spot them with the naked eye if they have nested in your house or yard. Let’s discuss them one by one.

Flying ants, also known as carpenter ants, in some areas. They are commonly found nesting in wet, damp, and rotting wood but can also be present in dry wood.

On the other hand, termites are found in infested wood and eat wood, paper, and related things. 

Red Flying Ants, Wasps, and Termites Comparison

If you want a quick comparison, the below table will help you, and then I will explain them one by one so you can understand them better.

People say flying ants and wasps are the same. But there are some differences.

Flying ants have elbowed antennae, whereas the wasps have long, curled, or relatively short antennae.

Although, it is difficult to tell which one is an ant and which one is a wasp. But if you look closely you can tell the differences.

Also, read: How to get rid of flying ants

Ants have elbowed antennae.Termites have straight antennae.
The front wings are longer.The front and hind wings are similar in length.
The wings are a bit tinted brown.The wings are a bit pale.
They have a wasp-like waist.They do not have a wasp-like narrow waist.
Their color is black, brown, or reddish.They are mainly dark brown in color.

Red Flying Ants vs Termites: Primary Differences with Pictures

Okay, now let’s explore the differences between ants and termites and know them more closely. Let’s start with the overall body shape.

1. Body Shape Difference

what are Flying Ants

The best way to identify each insect is to look at their body shape. Flying ants have narrow waists, but termites have broad.

You can also say that the ants have wasp-like waists but not termites.

2. Ants and Termites Antennae

what are Termites

You can also make the call of flying ants vs termites by looking at their Antennae. Termites have straight antennae, but the ants have elbowed antennae.

I think it is the biggest difference in the normal human eyes.

3. Their Wings Difference

Body Shape Difference in ants and termites

If you see that the wings are the same and a bit pale, then it is a termite. But if you see that the wings are different in size and a bit tinned brown, then it is an ant. 

Both ants and termites have two wings. But the termite wings are almost the same in size and in shape, while the ant has two big forewings and two small hind wings.

4. Termites Color Difference

Color Difference in ants and termites

They both can be found in many different colors from black to shade of red for ants and dark brown to creamy or white for termites.

The primary colors of flying ants are black and dark brown or blackish for termites. 

Until now, you can identify both of them on the physical side. If you want to know about their behavior or damage differences, then the below comparison will help you.

5. Their Food Choice Differences

Food Differences in termites and ants

Flying ants vs termites food choices. There is also a big difference in their food choices. Termites mainly eat wood, paper, and other wood-based material.

On the other hand, ants eat seeds, insects, and food waste inside the house or the yard.

6. Ants and Termites Behavior Difference

Behavior Difference in termites and ants

Ants colonies live in the house, in the yard, and in the basement. The termites live in decaying trees, stumps, wood debris, and wooden structures.

Some ants also inhabit wood, but normally they do not. But if they do, they can damage it. 

7. Termites vs Flying Ants Damages

Termites vs Flying Ants Damages

Now the damage difference between flying ants vs termites. Flying ants do not eat wood. Instead, they build their nest there. But once the nest is complicated, they will tunnel into the wood and later eat those if needed.

On the other hand, termites eat wood. They travel through the ground and bring a mixture of mud and soil that they track into the tunnels that you may have seen in your house.

In general, it is not the ants or the termites that damage the wood, but their colony does in order to survive. It can take years to really notice those damages in the naked eye.

In simple words, termites cause structural damage to wood and wooden furniture in the house and leave a mixture of mud in the road as they eat the wood. 

But flying ants do not eat wood but make a tunnel in the wood, which may damage the wood in the long run. But it is unnoticeable and may take years before you notice something.  

Last Words

So these are the main differences between flying ants and termites, and you can tell the difference by looking at them, especially the Antennae.

If you have any of them in your house and want to get rid of them, use pest control powder like diatomaceous earth to kill them all.

Red and Black Flying Ants, Wasp, and Termites FAQs

flying ants and termites FAQs

What is the difference between flying ants and wasps?

Flying ants have elbowed antennae, whereas the wasps have variable antennae that can be long, curled, or relatively short.

What is the difference between red and black flying ants?

Red ants are aggressive toward humans, whereas black ants do not attack but make messes around the house and cause good damage to wooden structures.

What do termites look like to the human eye?

They look like bugs with wings and are similar to red ants, but they are not if you look closely. They have different antennae, colors, shapes, and sizes and can be identifiable to the human eye.

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About Author

Nazim Ali

Nazim Ali is an engineer who loves fixing things at home. He loves to try new things and share the knowledge with the world.