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Along with our monsoons, Southern Arizona will be enjoying all the benefits that this time of year brings to the desert. Creosote will permeate the air, spectacular sunsets and sunrises will greet us each day and when the perfect circumstances line up, massive swarms of tens of thousands of flying insects will show up in our yards.

There are two principal insects that swarm like this during this time of year. One is ants, the other is termites. They are very closely related, both being social insects. These insects rise up out of the ground where they are nesting to follow newly developed queens in their quest to further propagate the species. They will all be dark, smoky grey to brown in color, have wings to help them fly in pursuit of their new queen and will vary greatly in size.

So, short of hiring an entomologist (a bug expert) or calling every pest control company in town, how do you tell the difference?

  • Wings: Termites have two pair of equally sized wings, ants have two sets of wings, with one being longer than the other.
  • Antennae: Termites have straight antennae attached to the tops of their heads, Ants have bent antennae.
  • Body Segments: Termites appear to be one long continuous body segment. Ants will have a definitive waist separating the body segments.

You can see these three things to tell the difference between the two pests in the infographic below. If you need additional answers, please call University Termite & Pest Control. One of our customer service representatives will get you those answers and get you the peace of mind you need.
termite-or-ant-infographic (1)

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