Sandpiper Pest Control July Blog: Drywood Destroyers

It is drywood termite season in Florida! Drywood termites generally swarm late spring through summer here in Indian River & Brevard Counties. These destructive pests usually feed on above-ground wood, making your home the perfect food source if left unprotected.

In this month’s blog, we are going to discuss how to tell the difference between winged termites versus winged ants and review the telltale signs of drywood termites in the home.

Winged Ants Vs. Winged Termites

When termites swarm, they can easily be mistaken for winged ants to the untrained eye. It’s important to identify whether the swarming pests that you’ve encountered are termites or ants, as they both require different types of treatments. Let’s go over some of the key visual differences between winged termites and flying ants to help us tell them apart from one another.

The main physiological differences between the two insects are found in their waist, wings, and antennae.

ant and termiteWaist

  • Figure 1: (Image Source: UF IFAS)

    One of the easiest ways to visually tell an ant from a termite is by the shape of their waist. Ants have a waist that is defined and pinched at the center. Termites have a thick waist that is uniform with their body.


  • Another great way to tell if you are dealing with winged ants or termites is by the sizes of the pairs of wings. Termites have identically sized front and back wings that are uniform in shape and length. Winged ants on the other hand have longer front wings than they do back wings.


  • The shape of the bug’s antenna are also good indicators about what type of pest they are. Flying ants have antenna that appears bent. Termites have antenna that are straight and beaded.

Signs of Drywood Termites in Your Home

Even though these silent destroyers can be difficult to detect inside of a home, there are several signs that can reveal their presence to us. These signs include:


  • Termite fecal pellets, or frass, which has the appearance of light-colored coffee grounds may start to build up in piles around the home, as pictured below.


Discarded Wings

  • Pairs of translucent wings around windowsills or spiderwebs in the home can also be a sign of drywood termites. As mentioned earlier, a drywood termite’s two pairs of wings are uniform in length and shape.


  • Drywood termites swarm during the hours of the late afternoon to evening. They are usually active swarming from dusk until dawn. Termites are attracted to light, so they can sometimes be seen swarming in the evening time around outdoor lights around the home.

How Sandpiper Pest Control Can Help

We understand the need to feel protected against termites as a homeowner. That’s why we ID for FREE! If you are unsure whether the pests you’re seeing are ants or termites, save one and we will identify the specimen for free and help give you peace of mind.

If you do require pest control services, we also provide FREE estimates for service. Our office can be contacted at (772)-589-0204, or you can schedule your free estimate on our website at

Related Posts
  • April Showers Bring May Menaces Read More
  • Sandpiper March 2023 Blog Post: Swarming Subterraneans! Read More