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The sight of a winged, ant-like insect near the house tends to create alarm for homeowners. In this case, however, the winged critter wasn't a termite but a winged ant, a relatively benign insect that doesn't cause structural damage.
There are chiefly three differences between a winged ant and a termite:
- The winged ant has a pinched waist (like a wasp). The termite doesn't.
- The winged ant has elbowed antennae (bent). The termite doesn't.
- The winged ant has two pairs of wings that are unequal in length. The termite has two pairs of wings that are equal in length and are much longer than the termite's body.
The presence of a swarm of winged ants doesn't mean that you'll get even more in the same location. The individual ants leave the group and don't return. If you find a winged ant or two, just sweep them up.