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Termite identification

Termites are very small and similar in size to ants, which often led to confusion. In fact, knowing the key differences between these two pests is a good starting point for identification. 

Owing to their secretive nature, termites can be hard to detect, especially with untrained eyes. You are far more likely to spot the signs of termite damages before you spot termites themselves. 

As with any other pests, correct identification ensures the use of the most effective control methods. It also allows you to choose the most appropriate corrective steps to eradicate the termite problems in your home or business premises.

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What Do Termites Look Like?

Flying termites or better known as the swarmers or alates are winged reproductives that fly away from the nest to establish new colonies. Due to their similarities with flying ants, people are often confused between termite and ant swarmers. 

The difference between these two pests will greatly impact the type of services needed to control them in your property. Here’s how to establish the general differences in appearance and behavior between ants and termites:


Termites have a straight waist, while ants have a pinched waist.


Termites have straight antennae while ants have bent antennae.

Wing Length

Termites wings are the same length while ants have wings of different length.

Discarded Wings

Flying ants do not shed their wings. If you have seen these flying insects in your property, you can be fairly certain that you have identified termites if you’ve also found discarded wings (usually found by the window sill).

Look for differences in body shape

The image below should help you identify important differences in body shape of termites and winged ants:

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