4 Differences Between an Ant and a Termite
As a homeowner, you may occasionally notice tiny bugs making their way across your floors in search of food. Termites and ants are easily confused due to their small size. However, before reaching for any bug spray, it's essential to understand what sets them apart.
Here's a quick guide to help you tell the difference.
Wing sizes between ants and termites are different, but the structure is similar for both species. Both species have four wings that are uniform in size. Termite wings are longer than those of ants, allowing them to fly while ants primarily remain grounded. Termite wings are white and transparent. Ant wings have a brownish tint to them.
The wing difference also plays an influential role in mating behaviour. Winged ants and termites identify as reproductives. They have a distinctively larger wing size than their non-reproductive group counterparts.
Any of the two types of wings in your home is a cause for concern. A large deposit of wings is a surefire sign that a nest is nearby.
Termite antennae are straight, while ant antennae appear elbowed or "L-shaped." Termites use their antennae to absorb moisture from the air, while ants use their antennae to sense changes in their environment.
Termites rely on tactile behaviour. On the other hand, ants rely on olfactory abilities developed by their flexible antennae. An ant's antenna allows it to touch and smell. The antennae help in finding food and communicating with other colony members. Ant colonies have distinct smells allowing them to sniff out intruders. Ant antennae can also sense pheromones and transmit messages.
Termites forage primarily for wood and other substances made up of cellulose. On the other hand, ants are omnivorous creatures. Ants consume plant matter such as seeds and fruits and eat other insects.
4. Body Shape
Ants have a slender body shape with a narrow waist and an abdomen that tapers at the end. On the other hand, termites have a thicker body shape with a wide waist and an abdomen that doesn't taper. While both termites and ants have well-defined heads, the eyes are larger in termites than in ants.
Although ants and termites have many distinct characteristics, one should be cautious not to mistake an ant for a termite or vice versa. Knowing the difference between them is essential to ensure your property remains pest-free. A termite invasion can cause expensive damage to your house. If you need help identifying the pests in your home, reach out to a pest control company.