Common Bugs That Look Like Flying Termites

Mayflies, green lacewings, and flying ants are the most likely winged insects you’ll find in your home that look like flying termites.

Each of these bugs can cause different kinds and amounts of damage to your home.

An exterminator can help you figure out what kind of bugs you have and suggest a plan to get rid of them.

Green lacewings

A Golden Eye Lacewing (Mallada traviatus) sitting on a leaf

Green lacewings are bugs that live in gardens. If you find them inside, you might think they are flying termites. You might know these bugs if you have a garden. In fact, they are good for gardens because they keep harmful pests away from plants.

It’s pretty easy to tell a green lacewing from a flying termite. For most of the year, they are green. But in the winter, they turn brown. At this point, you might mistake them for flying termites.

They have four wings and two antennae, just like termites. Even though they have these things in common, green lacewings and flying termites are not the same.

The wings of a green lacewing are completely clear, while the wings of a flying termite are a little darker and more opaque.

In contrast to the short antennae of flying termites, theirs are very long and thin. Adult green lacewings are also a little bit bigger, measuring about 3/4 of an inch.


Mayflies look a little more like flying termites than green lacewings do.

There are a lot of ways to find out if these bugs have moved into your home. Mayflies are most active in the summer, especially after it rains.

Mayflies are one inch long, which makes them bigger than green lacewings and flying termites.

Most of the time, they are light colors, like yellow, gray, white, or light brown. They have four wings that are clear and not at all like the wings of flying termites.

When the mayfly is still, it is easy to see that its two front wings are bigger and wider than its two back wings.

Mayflies have very short antennae that might not be visible unless you look closely.

Mayflies are also very different from flying termites because they have two or three long tails that hang down behind their abdomens.

This is the most obvious thing that sets mayflies apart from other pests with wings.

Flying Ants

Close up of Black Carpenter Ant or Camponotus pennsylvanicus (winged male) on white background

Flying ants and flying termites look the most alike and are the most likely to cause damage. There may be different kinds of flying ants in your home.

The most likely kind of ants to get into homes are carpenter ants.

Like flying termites, these pests build their nests in wooden structures. Even though they don’t eat wood like flying termites do, carpenter ants drill into wood to lay their eggs there.

This is also bad for your house’s structure because the wood will start to hollow out and break down over time. If you have a lot of flying ants, you might see their larvae.

The larvae of flying ants look like maggots because they are white and have no legs.

If you find things that look like sawdust in your home, you know you have a flying ant problem.

Flying ants chew through wood, but unlike flying termites, they don’t eat it.

So, when they hollow out wood to make their nests, they leave behind something that looks like sawdust. If you have a colony of flying ants in your home, you will find this waste near the nest.

What do Flying termites look like?

Aside from size and color, there are other things that can help you figure out if the bugs in your home are flying termites. There are some things that flying termites do that other types of flying insects may not do.

For example, termites that can fly almost always move in groups called swarms.

Rarely will you find just one termite in your home. If you only see one, there is probably a larger colony nearby.

Termites have a lot of babies quickly, and when their colony is full, they leave. When this happens, you may find swarms of them coming into your home to find a new place to nest.

If you find wings all over your house, that’s another sign that you have flying termites.

When termites mate, they lose their wings because they are now ready to eat wood.

Remember that the wings of flying termites are either clear or opaque.

How to Tell the Difference Between Termites and Ants?

There are a few ways to tell the difference between flying ants and flying termites. Flying ants and carpenter ants are about 0.7 inches long, which is a bit longer than flying termites.

Flying ants are either very dark brown or black. This is important to remember because flying ants never have lighter colors like flying termites do.

Flying ants and termites both have four wings, but the front and back wings of an ant are not the same size.

The wings of a termite are also much longer than those of an ant. 

Termites have wings that are almost as long as their bodies. 

On the other hand, flying ants have short wings that don’t go past the length of their bodies.

Flying ants have long antennae that are shaped like an L. This is a small but important difference.

In contrast, the antennae of flying termites are straight and shorter.

Also, flying ants have wide bodies that are narrow at the waist. 


Flying termites are one type of insect with wings that likes to live inside wood. There are three bugs with wings that look like termites in the air.

People are most likely to think they are flying ants. Flying ants are dangerous to your home because they drill into wood to lay their eggs, which can cause damage.

There are also winged bugs that look like termites but don’t do any damage to structures but are still annoying.

Some of these are insects like green lacewings and mayflies, which like light and moisture.

If you see a group of insects with wings in your home, you should call an exterminator. They will be able to find out what kind of pests are there and how bad the damage is.

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