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Aren’t Termites The Same As Ants?

If you’ve noticed tiny insects in and around your home, you may be wondering what you’re infested with. One of your first ideas will probably be ants or termites. But aren’t they just the same thing? Actually, they’re not. If you want to know how to tell the difference between ants and termites, here are a few pointers with some solid information about termites and ants.


Termites are extremely tiny creatures (about 10mm in length), with the majority being a whitish, almost see through color, with soft bodies, 6 short legs and 2 antennae. Only the reproducers have wings and eyes to enable them to seek out other colonies; the rest of them don’t fly.

Reproducers and soldiers are slightly darker than the workers, with soldiers having longer and more powerful jaws so they can defend the colony against attack. The queen is the biggest of the colony, usually around 10cm in length.


Ants, while also tiny, have marked differences. They’re much darker and come in an array of colors depending of the species, and have much tougher bodies that certainly aren’t see through. They too have 2 antennae but they’re much more rigid, and while some members of the colony have wings they’re much smaller than those of the reproducers. Ant wings are about the same length as their bodies, whereas those of reproducers are twice as long.

How to Tell the Difference Between Ants and Termites

It can often be difficult to tell the difference between them, particularly as termites are often mistakenly known as “white ants”. While similar, they’re certainly not the same and shouldn’t be labeled as such. It can be even more confusing when trying to tell the difference between swarming termites and flying ants, but a good indicator is the length of the wings, if you can see them well enough. If not, wait until the swarm is over – if they’ve left piles of tiny wings then they’re termites, as it’s only those who shed their wings after swarming.

Termites are also better at hiding than ants, and you’re very unlikely to see them above ground unless they’re swarming or if you’re lucky enough to expose them. Ants, on the other hand, aren’t quite as shy.

Ants and Termites are Different

As you can see, termites are categorically not the same as ants. It’s worth knowing the differences between them, as termites can often cause considerably more damage to your property than ants can. If you bear the above points in mind, you’ll be better equipped to tell which one you’ve got an infestation of and from there you can decide what you should do next.

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