To the naked eye, ants and termites look alike. For us, these insects are just creepy crawlers that invade our homes. We only know, for sure, the differing nuisances these insects cause.
Ants cause annoyance, especially in the presence of food. Termites pose a more significant threat to property. If you want to understand how these insects differ from one another, this guide will help you.
Termites and their characteristics
- Termites are light-colored insects that feed on cellulose. Cellulose is a compound found on everyday household items such as paper, plants, or wood. Aside from being light in color, termites can also appear translucent. When compared to ants, termites have straight antennae. What’s more, they have thicker waists than ants. Much like ants, termites also operate based on their duties. Three primary termite classes carry specific characteristics. These are identified as the soldier termites, worker termites, and winged termites.
- Soldier termites are tasked with protecting the colony. They can either be female or male but are sexually underdeveloped. A noticeable factor that highlights these termites are enlarged heads with big jaws. Despite the size of their jaws, they need worker termites to feed them.
- Worker termites are the ones who cause damage to properties. They take on the roles of miners, builders, and midwives. Like soldier termites, they can also be male or female.
- Winged termites are also referred to as “alate.” These winged insects leave the colony around spring and summer to find mates. Once the mating process is complete, their wings are dropped and start a new nest. Unlike ants, winged termites have equal-length wings.
Ants and their characteristics
Ants travel to great lengths in search of food. Specific types of ants leave a scent trail for other ants to follow. Different ants prefer sweet items such as honey, sugar, or fruit.
When it comes to their physical appearance, ants are dark-colored. Their antennae look elbowed. Their bodies are divided into three sections: the head, thorax, and gaster. Much like termites, ants also have castes. These duties are worker, soldier, flying ants, and winged drones.
- Worker ants are all females. They work for the queen, and they care for the colony. They are the ones responsible for foraging food. Plus, they are relatively small when compared to other ant castes.
- Soldier ants exist only in polymorphic species. They are all female. They have larger bodies than worker ants and have strong jaws to protect the colony. Their jaws are also used to carry large objects.
- Flying ants, much like winged termites, are also referred to as “alate.” But, this caste only carries an all-female ensemble. Their wings have different sizes, but they function similarly to winged termites.
- Winged drones, on the other hand, are composed of all-male ants. They are tasked with a single responsibility, and that is to reproduce. Once the mating process is complete, the winged drone dies.
These months are susceptible to termite sightings. The information above will help you identify whether you have ants or termites lurking on your property. If you cannot do so, it’s time to call your local pest control! Contact Picton Pest Control to eradicate your problems with ants and termites today!