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How to Differentiate Termites from Ants

You see something in the crawl space, near the plumbing pipes or up in a corner of the attic. Is it an ant or a termite? Unless you are in the pest control business in St Petersburg, you may not be able to tell one type of bug from another. But while it may be difficult to distinguish between the two, there are some key differences to help you. Here are three physical characteristics to evaluate.

  1. Antenna - While both winged ants and termites in the adult, sexually mature stage are called alates, there are definite differences in their antenna structure, according to pest control experts in St Petersburg. The antennas of a winged ant are bent at right angles, giving them an elbow-like appearance. In contrast, the antenna of a termite are straighter and look more like a string of beads.
  2. Wing Length - According to pest control experts in St Petersburg, an ant’s fore wings are larger and longer than the hind wings, whereas both sets of termite wings are the same size and shape.
  3. Abdomen/Waist - An ant’s body is divided into three parts — head, thorax and abdomen— with a narrow, constricted waist. However, pest control specialists in St Petersburg point out that a termite has only two parts — head and body— with a broad waist and no indention. Also, a termite has a soft body while an ant’s body is hard and almost shell-like.

Another difference is in the number of pests that you see. Swarming termites tend to travel in large groups of hundreds or more. But flying ants are less “social” so you may only see a few here or there. In either case, capture the pest in a jar and show it to your pest control technician in St Petersburg along with the location where you spotted the invader.

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