Main Differences Between Winged Ants and Termite Swarm
Like any pests known to humankind, certain species of ants can pester our homes throughout the year. This includes termites, flying ants, fire ants, carpenter ants, etc.
While there are more than 20,000 species of ants, there are two species that are often mistaken for each other by many homeowners in Singapore – winged ants and termites. They both may belong to the same family but vary in ways that only pest control experts can distinguish.
Despite their differences, it can still be hard for people to distinguish the two at first glance. To make it easier for homeowners like you to identify whether they’re termites or winged ants, we’ve put together some of the distinctive aspects of winged ants and termites.
Termites vs Winged Ants
Termites have straight antennae and wide bodies without pinched waists. They’re typically black or dark brown. Flying termites, meanwhile, exhibit similar characteristics but have clear front and back wings that are of equal length.
In contrast, winged ants have bent antennae and pinched waists. Their bodies can be black, brown, or reddish. Unlike flying termites, winged ants have two pairs of brown-tinged wings that differ in size.
Both ants and termites live in large colonies with designated caste systems. Termites are often found in decaying trees, stumps, wood debris, lumber, and wooden elements of structures. Similarly, some ants, like carpenter ants, can also be found in wood and wooden parts of structures.
However, termites can cause severe structural damage as they feed on the wood and destroy the structure in the process. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, don’t feed on wood and thus, doesn’t cause costly structural damage.
It’s easy to assume that every species of ant shares the same diet. However, the diets of winged ants and termites differ, as the former are omnivores and termites feed on cellulose – nutrient-rich material found in plants.
Ants generally feed on nectar, seeds, other insects, and food debris found around and inside homes. Termites, on the other hand, feed mainly on wood, paper, and other cellulose-based products.
Most termites go through three stages of development – eggs, nymph (larvae), and adult. They generally survive for several years while termite queens can live for decades. Ants, on the other hand, go through four stages of development – egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Worker ants typically live for a few months while their queens can live for years.
Despite the difference in their life cycles, both types have similar reproductive cycles. Fertile winged ants and termites travel from their nests to mate and establish new colonies. In ant species, the male partners generally die after mating with the females.
In contrast, both male and female termites live on after mating and continue to expand their new colonies. Both ants and termites lose their wings after mating.
When it comes to determining which of the two are more destructive, it’s almost impossible to compare because they both differ in many ways, including the damage they cause.
However, if you ever spot any of these pests in or around your home, it’s important that you do something about it. Among some of the ways to exterminate these pests are to use insecticides or seek termite control to help get rid of them from your house.
While winged ants are certainly much less of a threat than termites, they can still do a tremendous amount of damage if left untreated. Their presence also serves as a warning sign that your home is being damaged by water because they prefer soft or rotted wood to create their tunnels and nest galleries.
The same goes for termites, but the amount of damage tends to be severe and costly, which is often the case among Singaporean homeowners. If you have a broken or obstructed gutter system, it can fare badly for the equity of your house.
At PestBusters, we offer a range of pest control services to reduce the chances of pest infestation while providing home disinfection service to exterminate pests wholly from your home. Our pest control plan begins with preliminary inspections of the affected area to identify pest species and exploit their weaknesses, in addition to establishing food sources used to sustain the infestation.
After gaining sufficient information on the problem, we formulate a strategy and strike with full force to disorientate the pests and ensure they’re unable to regroup. We will follow up with inspections to ensure all remaining infestations are eliminated.
So, don’t wait too long to contact us as you may prolong the chance of pest infestation in and around your house. Contact us at (+65) 6288 2828 or 24-hour response (+65) 9180 9990 or enquire online today for the total pest control services!