I’ve got some kind of fire ant looking insect swarming in my kitchen. I’m afraid they could be termites since I know they like to swarm this time of year too. How can I tell the difference?
Ants and termites both generate swarmers or winged reproductives whose sole purpose is to leave an existing nest and then seek out new nest locations. These swarmers are trying to leave the existing nest and for the most part have just one thing on their mind: mate and start a new colony. There are several differences ant and termite swarmers but the one main difference is that ant swarmers will keep their wings – even in death. Termite swarmers will loose or drop off their wings. Furthermore, termites will appear to have bodies which are consistent from their head to their tail. Ant swarmers will look like a regular ant with very distinct body parts (3 segments) which are normally tapered. More details on these differences can be seen in this termite control article which features some video as well as a good explanation of the difference.