Are White Ants Different From Termites?

You probably hear the word ‘ant’ and think of the small black insects which spend all day wandering round the ground seemingly pointlessly. It might interest you to know that they are actually looking for food to take back to their nest.

If you see them zig-zagging then they are looking for the way back to their nest, they do this via a scent trial.

The black ant is not the only one you’ll see. There are also red ones, also known as fire ants which are much more dangerous.

In addition you light hear of the white ant. In fact, the white ant is the same pest as the termite. The term white ant is commonly used in Australia although other parts of the world have adopted it.

If you see white ants then you need to consider employing some termite control as quickly as possible. Termites can cause a huge amount of damage to your property in a very small space of time.

You will find it useful to discover the main differences between termites and regular ants:


Ants are clearly much more body conscious. They have a defined waist and you’ll be able to see the 3 distinct sections of their body. Termites are generally chunkier and don’t have an obvious waist.


The antenna on termites or white ants is short, straight and on close inspection will appear beaded. Ants have longer antenna with a distinct bend in them, usually at the half way point.


Not all ants have wings but some do. Those that do have two pairs; and they look very similar to the wings on a termite. However, the wings on a winged ant are different sizes, the front are longer than the rear. A termite has the same size wings on the front and back.

The Color

White ants are most predominant in Australia because their bodies will become darker when they consume dark wood. As they are more pale trees in Australia many of the termites remain white, while in other countries they get darker making them look more like black ants!

It is worth noting that the worker termites will have heads that are virtually the same color as their body. The soldier and queen ant will have a visible difference in color between head and body.

The fact is that if you see a white any, you’re actually looking at a termite and it’s time to take action.

Getting professional help is advisable. You will need to undertake a complete inspection of your home and perform eradication treatment if necessary. The best way to ensure they are gone is to use powerful chemicals and a professional will know how to handle these safely.

It can also be difficult to locate all the places where the termites are hiding. Again, the professional will know where to look and can save you thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. As soon as you see a white ant near your home you need to start looking at all the wood I your house. The earlier you deal with the issue the better.