Ants vs Termites  If you find signs of winged insects, don't panic and automatically assume they are termites. Under a magnifying glass, Termites can be distinguised from ants by comparing their physical characestics. Color is the most common sign - winged termites are solid black while ants are usually red and black or dark brown. Winged Termites have straight beaded antennae, a long body with a thick waist, two body segments and four long fragile wings of equal size and shape. Winged ants have elbowed antennae, three body segments, a think neck, thin waist, and two front wings that are larger than the two lower wings. 

Termite Colonies contain 3 castes: Reproductives, Workers, and Soldiers. Reproductive males and females can be winged or wingless. They are often referred to as Swarmers. The color of their bodies varies by species from coal black to pale yellow-brown. Wings on the Swarmer appear clear and have a few distinct veins. 

Workers make up the largest number in any given colony. They do not have wings and appear white to creamy white in color. They do all of the work, from feeding the others, grooming the queen, excavating the nest and making tunnels. In working, they chew and eat the wood source, causing the destruction. 

Soldiers resemble the Worker in color and general appearance, except they have large, well-developed brownish heads with strong mandibles or jaws to defend the colony against invaders, primarily ants.