Difference Between Flying Ants and Termites

ant and termites

Determining whether you have flying ants, or winged termites is important in how you treat the problem.
Some flying winged ants resemble the winged-swarming termite.

Here are some ways do identify the differences:

  1. While both species have four wings, termite wings are uniform in size. Winged ants have noticeably larger wings in the front than the pair in the back.
  2. Termites antennae are almost straight where the ant's antennae is elbowed.
  3. Termite wings are twice as long as their body. Ant wings are shorter and more proportionate to their bodies.
  4. Ants appear distinctly segmented, because of their thin waist. Termites have a broad waist and are mostly a uniform width along their entire body.

Do-It-Yourself Termite Control : Information and recommended procedures for termite control.

FAQ's Ant Control

questions When I spray the ants, they just move. How can I kill them?

When an ant colony can't be located, use a poison bait. The toxicant is passed throughout the colony, killing the queen and all worker ants.


question Do carpenter ants eat wood?

No. Carpenter ants will tunnel into wood, usually soft decaying wood to make their nests.

question I have a large carpenter ant, but both ends of its body are black, and the middle is red or orange. What kind of ant is this?

Sounds like Florida carpenter ants. They are just a different color than regular carpenter ants. Use the same treatment you would for regular carpenter ants.


Over this past weekend I noticed that my yard had hundreds of what appeared to be dark-colored, white-winged ants coming out of the ground and flying away. Most of the ant holes had lots of smaller ants without wings around them. It has been wet for about a week now and Saturday was a very humid and sunny day. After it rained that night, these insects were gone and I haven't seen a one since. Does this sound like ants? My home is being treated by a termite service with a Sentracon System and has been under treatment over the last 6 months. Any answers you can provide, or products you could recommend would be a great help. Thanks in advance.

Summertime is when ants swarm. Termites are more likely to swarm in the spring. Complete Ant Bait Kit, applied around the ant holes will control them. If the ants are coming inside, use Taurus SC around the perimeter. Taurus SC is a non-repellent insecticide (the ants do not know it is there). Most insecticides are repellent in nature, the ants simply move around it to enter the structure.


I have been sprinkling Ortho Orthene fire ant killer on the mounds in my yard, and although it seems to work, for every mound I destroy, two or three new mounds appear somewhere else in the yard. It is a constant battle that I seem to be losing.

What I'm wondering is whether the ant poisons you distribute (e.g., Maxforce Complete Granular) have any salient advantage over the Orthene.

For individual mound treatment there is no advantage. However, with broadcast application, mounds on nearby property will be killed. Extinguish Fire Ant Bait is a slow acting bait, but it has an IGR (insect growth regulator) in it to prevent new colony growths. This should slow the intrusion into your yard. Advion Fire Ant Bait is a very effective and fast fire ant killer bait. Advion works kills the entire colony in 2-3 days, and also works for Bigheaded Ants and Pavement Ants.


What is an effective ant bait against carpenter ants?

Advance 375 A Ant Bait and Optigard Ant Bait have proven to be favorites, working all season long for the carpenter ants. Ants will feed on two cycles, sugar based or protein based. The Advance 375A attracts ants on their protein cycle and the Optigard attracts ants on their sugar feeding cycle. Use both baits at once for their choosing. However, baits may not effective because the ants may have another food source and not choose the ant baits. In this case, use Taurus SC around the structure and Dominion 2L in the yard. These non-repellent insecticides are more effective than repellent insecticides for ant control.


Are these carpenter ants?
We have large red ants that have a black "node" as its rear section. We just see a few around the bathtub faucet several times a week.

In the south (USA), there is a carpenter ant that is red and black. Most areas of the country have solid black carpenter ants. All carpenter ants are large --1/4 inch or larger. Most of the time ant baits like Advance 375A, Maxforce Complete, Maxfore Carpenter Ant Bait or Optigard work, but sometimes sporadically against carpenter ants (since they may have another food source and will not eat the bait).

Another solution, however is to find the colony and destroy it (if finding the colony is available). This is usually done with a non-repellent residual, crack and crevice aerosols like Phantom Aerosol sprayed directly into the nest or a dust such as, D-Fense Dust, dusted into the nest using a duster such as a the Bellows 8 Oz. Duster


For more information go to Carpenter ants .


We have an ant problem, but they are critters I have never seen in my life. They appear to like our tomato and sunflower plants. They always come in a combination of two completely different looking kinds and seem to just sit there, strung up on the stalk of the plant, and suck the juices out of it. One kind is bright green and doesn't really look like ants. They are about 1/4 inch long with green pointed backs that look like shields. The other kind are really ugly looking dark brown creatures, that make normal ants look smooth and pretty. They appear to live in some kind of symbiosis, meaning that they have some business with each other, because they are always clinging to each other in some way or other. Can you help me find out what they are and how to take care of them?

The green ones may be aphids, which provide secretions that are a delicacy to many ants. You are correct about the symbiosis. These guys work very well together. The aphids provide food for the ants, the ants provide protection for the aphids. Spray the plants with Bonide All Seasons Horticultural Oil.
For heavier infestations use Dominion Fruit Tree and Vegetable spray.


I have what looks like flying ants. They were all over the place. What confused me was that there were some smaller and larger ones with no wings and they were orange in color. The ones with the wings were black and the ones without the wings were orange. Is this common?

The winged ants are reproductive forms of the ants and often look very different from the rest of the workers. My guess is that these are from the same colony. I would combine Advance 375A and Optigard Ant Gel around the trails to eliminate the colony.


I have a type of flying ant with a three-part body, black and red-black about 1/4 inch long in the attic. Are these a type of carpenter ant or termite? I am new to Florida and don't know the insects.

They are Florida Carpenter Ants. Once a year each colony will produce winged adults to start new colonies. Finding the nest and dusting is very effective for Florida Carpenter Ants.

The recommended products are B&G Bulb R Duster and D-Fense Dust.; inspect and locate the carpenter ant nest and dust the nest.

For larger coverage in the attic, use Dustin Mizer, a crank type duster to cover attics well.
The dust will last for 6 months to a year. One pound of dust will cover 1,000 sq. ft.


I have a few questions regarding carpenter ants. I believe we have a nest inside the house in the basement. Will they nest in the insulation? Should I pull out the insulation to locate the nest, or should I be able to see a nest? The basement is not finished.


Carpenter ants can and do nest in insulation. You may have to pull out the insulation to find them.

I would try spraying the entire perimeter with, Taurus SC


We have a small problem in our vegetable garden. We have little red ants by the thousands. They have eaten the tops of the carrots, but have done nothing else. I don't want them to eat our vegetable next season. What should we do?


I would spread some Maxforce Complete Granulars around the garden.
The ants should eat it and carry it to the nest where it will kill the entire colony.
You can use    Ant No More Bait Stations to hold the bait inside a container if you wish.


We have very small ants attacking the plants and eating holes in the leaves in our garden.
We live in northern Ohio and wonder what to put on to discourage the ants that will still allow us to eat the vegetables; that is, if the ants leave us any to eat.
This is our first attempt at gardening and we aren't winning this battle with the ants.
Thanks for any suggestions.


Finding the Ant colony in the soil and drenching it with a liquid insecticide, such as Conquer would be the best approach.
If you are dealing with leaf cutter ants, this is the only effective method, because they won't eat ant baits.