How do you tell the Difference Between Winged Carpenter Ants and Winged Termites?

For homeowners, distinguishing between a winged carpenter ant and a winged termite is crucial. While having carpenter ants poses a problem, dealing with termites is undoubtedly a more significant issue. Although we typically associate ants and termites with wingless workers, both species produce winged reproductive individuals, known as "swarmers," that venture out of the colony to establish new nests. Therefore, identifying these winged insects correctly is essential for effective pest control measures.

termite-antThere are three ways to spot the difference between a winged carpenter ant and a winged termite based on easily observable anatomy:

1. The Waist

Carpenter ants have a thin “waist” (a pedicel) between the base of the abdomen and the trunk. A carpenter ant has a narrow waist. A termite has a broad waist.

2. The Antennae

As with all ant species, carpenter ants have jointed, elbowed antennae. Winged termites have straight antennae.

3. The Wings

Carpenter ants belong to the same the insect group as hornets, wasps, and bees. All of these insects share the same type of wings: two pairs of membranous wings with the front ones being larger than the hind ones. So, a winged ant will have front and hind wings of different lengths. In contrast, termites have front and hind wings are of equal length.

For more information about identifying the bugs in your home, contact Cowleys Pest Services. We service Piscataway, Bridgewater, Toms River, Brick, Old Bridge, Princeton Junction, Middletown, Millstone Township, Colts Neck, Little Silver, Sayreville, Howell and nearby New Jersey.

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