Quantcast Ant and Termite Swarmers

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Ants have elbowed antennae. A long
using different methods for transmitting messages.
Workers foraging for food attract attention and
straight segment connects to the head.
communicate their messages when they return to the
Remaining segments flex and bend.
Termite antennae are entirely flexible.
They are made of many small segments
strung-out like beads. Termites wave
them in front, using them to touch and
Ant reproductives have two pairs of
wings.  The front pair is wider and
markedly longer than the back pair.
Often ants have a black dot near the tip
of the front wings, and dark wing veins
can be seen. Ant wings do not break off
Termite wings are long and narrow;
both pairs are the same shape and
almost the same length. Termite wings
break off with a touch. If termite
swarmers have been crawling, their
broken wings litter the swarm area.
Termite wing veins cannot be seen with
the naked eye.
Reproductives Termite (L). Ant (A).
(Arrow indicates narrow waist of ant.)
It is important to note that of the ants found
indoors, only a few species are responsible for the
The swarming of small, dark insects near or
majority of infestations; some species are not common
inside a structure panics people who fear their home is
but appear sporadically; and other types of ants are
infested by termites. Pest control technicians must
found inside only under rare or accidental conditions.
recognize the difference between ant and termite
While the third group is difficult to prepare for, the
reproductives,  and communicate it clearly and
first group should be studied, discussed, and control
confidently to their clients.
experiences analyzed. The middle group may take an
Principal differences are
inordinate amount of the pest controller's time, with
Ants have a complete metamorphosis,
inconclusive results. These elusive ants may appear
that is, they go through the egg, larva,
several times in one year, then not be encountered for
pupa and adult stages all which have
several years. Some are more or less common in some
different appearances. Ant workers are
regions and uncommon in others.
adult and look like the adult ant.
Termites have a gradual metamorphosis.
They go through the egg, nymph and
adult stages. Nymphs look like adult
workers.  Reproductives are dark-
Ants have a thin or "wasp" waist
between their thorax and abdomen
(called the petiole).
Temite waists are NOT narrow. Termite
bodies are straight-sided with no
constriction. Thorax and abdomen blend
Module One, Chapter 3, Pg 2


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