Termites are a huge problem in Australia. They are responsible for millions of dollars of damage each year. In fact, they are so ubiquitous that many homes and commercial buildings are affected.. Ants are also a severe problem in Australia. You can see huge ant mounds in some areas. The similarities in appearances between the two pests have many people wondering, are termites ants?
While they may look alike from a distance, they actually look quite different. So, here are some things to look for to help you identify whether you have termites or ants.
First, both termites and ants can have wings or be wingless. So, wings are not a determinator of what type of insect you have. Most species of ants and termites lose their wings after they swarm, so you may see a mix of bugs with and without wings.
If you are seeing flying insects, you are probably seeing swarmers. Swarmers are often the first sign people see when they are noticing an infestation. Swarmers are bugs, either termites or ants, who have left their colony and flown off to build a new colony. You may see them swarm in springtime.
Assuming the bugs you see have wings, you can use the shape of the wings to help you decide whether it is a termite or an ant. Termites have four wings- two front wings and two hind wings. The wings are all the same length, which is about twice as long as their body. Ants have shorter wings. While they also have four wings, their front wings are longer than their hind wings.
Both types of pests have antennae. However, the antennae do not look the same. Ants have bent antennae. Termites have straight antennae.
Finally, their bodies do not look the same. While wasp-waisted is a phrase, it should really be ant-waisted. That is because ants have narrow little waists. In contrast, termites’ waists are barely visible. Instead, they have a boxier shape.
Of course, the pests are not just different in how they look. They are also different in how they act. Termites use wood as a food source and can destroy your home. Ants do not generally eat wood. However, a specific types of ant, the carpenter ant, chews through wood to nest inside of it. They can create almost as much damage to your wood as termites can.
Whether you are spotting ants or termites, a bug swarm is never a good thing. Contact Flick for help. We can come out, diagnose the nature of your pest problem, and develop a customised pest control program for you.
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