University of Maryland Extension

Termite Identification

Author: 
Carolyn Puckett

Yikes!  Are those termites?

This is the alarmed reaction any homeowner might have when seeing small black flying insects swarming in the house.  However, those critters might be flying ants instead of termites.  How do you tell?

Look for the following characteristics:                  

ANTS:

TERMITES:

Elbowed antennae

Antennae not elbowed

Two pairs of wings of unequal length

Two pairs of wings of equal length

Thin waist

Thick waist

And what if they are termites?  Termites can be brought under control by either creating a pesticide barrier or by using termite baits.  For information about these treatments see “Termites:  Prevention, Detection, Control” at http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/non_HGIC_FS/EB245_Termites.pdf

For more information on identifying termites, see http://entomology.k-state.edu/extension/diagnostician/lab-news/winged-ants-vs-termites.html.

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.