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Is that a Termite or Flying Ant? How to spot the difference

March 14, 2022   |   Termite

Termites can do damage year round and some termites will swarm later in the year, but Eastern Subterranean Termite peak has started and will continue through April. Spring weather typically signals the start of termite season and here’s what you need to know to protect your property.

WHAT IS A TERMITE SWARMER?

A termite swarmer is a winged adult that flies away from its colony to produce new colonies. Depending on the size of the colony, the number of swarmers can range from a hundred to thousands. Swarmers are likely coming from a nearby source such as an underground nest or wall. They will infest softwoods and solid hardwoods, including types of lumbers commonly used in structural framing and can cause extensive damage to your home or business.

HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TERMITES AND ANTS:

Termite swarmers are often mistaken for flying ants as they look very similar. Below are some distinguishing traits between the two insects.

• Ants have three body parts plus an elbowed antennae with a 90-degree bend.
• Termites do not have a PINCHED WAIST like the ant and have straight antennas.
• Termites are soft-bodied and ants have a harder-body.
• Front and hind wings of termites are equal in size and held flat over the body when at rest.
• Ants have forewings that are longer than hindwings and are angled above the body at rest.

WHAT ARE COMMON SIGNS THAT I HAVE TERMITE SWARMERS OR TERMITES?

When swarmers are released from the colony, they fly towards light – you may see swarmers outdoors near windows, light fixtures and doors. Because drywood termites stay hidden within wood, wings may be the only sign of them – there could be dozens or hundreds of wings found on window sills.

Look for exit holes in drywall of emerging swarmers; cracked or bubbling paint on the drywall. Mud tubes or tunnels coming up from the ground would be a sign of termites as well. These allow termites to move from the ground into parts of the structure of your home.

PROTECTION AGAINST TERMITES

If you are concerned you have termite activity inside your home, call our team at 800-225-5305 or schedule your free pest inspection so we can have one of our trained termite technicians out to assess your problem and help you with a solution. If you don’t see signs of termites, we can suggest an effective preventative treatment to stop termites before they have a chance to come into your home.

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