Little queen

Have you ever seen a small, black insect flying in your house and wondered: Is it is an ant? Could it be a termite? Can ants even fly?

We’re here to tell you that ants can fly…and so can termites.

In fact, the flying members of ant and termite colonies are the only ones that can reproduce. Both ants and termites fly – or “swarm” – when they’re breeding. After mating has occurred, males will die, and queens will drop their wings and move to a nesting site.

If you see an ant flying in your home in the summer months, it very well could have flown in from outside, since ants are active and mate when it’s warmer. However, if you see an ant flying in your home in the winter, it might be time to worry. You could have a colony nesting in your house, since outdoor ants are not active in the colder months.

Termites nesting in structures can swarm at any time of the year, but they are seen more frequently in humid and wet weather.

So, how do you tell the difference between flying ants and termites? The following distinguishing features can help you determine if you’ve spotted an ant or a termite buzzing about your space.

many of brown winged termite on floor


  • Dark in color
  • Bent antennae
  • Smaller waists
  • Shorter hind wings than front wings


  • Light brown to white in color
  • Straight antennae
  • No distinct waist; body is one uniform size
  • Wings are equal in size

Swarming termites

Home invasion

A sudden appearance of flying ants or termites in your home can signal an infestation. Carpenter ants and termites both can cause significant and costly structural damage to your home.

You can determine the species of an insect invading your home by paying attention to its nesting signs. Termites eat wood, and carpenter ants nest it in. Carpenter ants chew clean channels into wood and carry the shavings out of the nest. If you find clean wood slivers that resemble pencil shavings, you likely have carpenter ants. Termites leave soiled tunnels while they’re eating through wood.

Eliminating an infestation

Both ants and termites have colonies with parent nests and satellite nests. If you find one nest, there is likely more. You can only eradicate an infestation by removing all satellite nests and destroying the parent nest.

If you suspect you have a termite or ant infestation, A-1 Able Pest Doc can inspect your home and property and eliminate any discovered colonies. Call A-1 Able Pest Doc at 1-800-737-8189 to schedule an inspection today.