Damaged wood by Termites with a lot of holes - House stucture with serious termite problem - ruined wood in man hand

You might not relish the thought of an up-close and personal encounter with bugs. But when trying to discern whether or not you’re seeing termites or flying ants in your home, it’s can mean the difference between costly repairs and a temporary nuisance.

The good news is the differences are easy to see. 

While both species have four wings, termite wings are uniform in size.  Flying ants have noticeably larger wings in the front than the pair in the back.  Plus, termite wings are almost twice as long as their body.  Ant wings are shorter and more proportional to their body.

You can also spot the differences in the insects’ antennae.  The antennae on termites are almost straight, where

the flying ant’s antennae have a noticeable bow in them.

Plus, ants appear distinctly segmented because of their thin waist.  Termites’ waists are broad and about the same width as the rest of their body.

Their diets are also very different.

We all know termites like to eat wood and in the case of subterranian termites, they’ll bore through concrete as well.  While both prefer to inhabit wooden structures, only termites actually eat wood.  Flying ants prefer cellulose found in plants, as well as food debris left by people.  Flying ants pose far less of a risk than termites due to this dietary preference.

Now that you know the difference, what can you do about it? 

If you see a swarm of insects in your home, rather than play detective, it’s best to call a licensed, bonded, and insured pest control company that specializes in termite and pest removal.  A company like St. Petersburg, Florida-based Regional Termite & Pest Control serves the greater Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Ocala and their surrounding areas and has treatments and processes for virtually any type of pest infestation.

The bad news is by the time you actually see the damage, it may be too late to avoid costly repairs. That’s why Regional Termite & Pest Control recommends having one of their trained specialists perform a termite inspection to spot termites before they feast on your home.

What about termites you see outside?  Should I be concerned?

That’s a definite “no.”  When termites swarm, they’re looking for a place to live, eat and raise the next generations in, and they often stay for a long, long time before you know they’re there.  A swarm that finds a rotted stump in your yard won’t take long to realize the greater bounty can be found by infesting your home where there are plenty of spaces within walls to feast and multiply, so it’s important to eliminate termite swarms when spotted, whether inside your home or out.

Better yet, many treatments come with a warranty. 

Regional Termite & Pest Control uses a product called Termidor®, which is America’s top termite defense product.  This, along with their application process, is so successful it comes with a $250,000 warranty against further termite damage.