Are Those Flying Ants or Termites?
Spring is here, and everything is buzzing with life again–including ants and termites! We know you want to protect your home from wood-destroying pests, but it can be hard to tell the difference between a fly, a flying ant, a flying termite, and whatever else is flying around your home!
Not all ants fly, but both termites and carpenter ants fly during spring in a process called “swarming”. Only the reproductive members of these insects fly during a swarm.
Although the two pests are very different, they have the same unfortunate result: structural damage. Here are tips to help you identify each, and recommendations on the next steps if you suspect you have either pest in your home.
What’s the difference between termites and carpenter ants?
There are three main ways to tell the difference between termites and carpenter ants:
- Body Shape: termites are built like rectangles, with no waist. Carpenter ants have a very constricted waist.
- Color: termites are often white or cream-colored; carpenter ants are much darker in color, and sometimes even solid black.
- Antennae: termites have straight antennae, while ants will have bent antennae.
It may be very difficult to see these differences during a swarm, however!
What is a “swarm”, anyway?
Swarming takes place when certain species of insects develop colonies that are reaching capacity. The reproductive males and females will fly and search for a new nesting site–also known as swarming! Some insect species that live in colonies are swarmers, but not every colony-building insect will swarm.
The season that swarming takes place depends on the species itself. Carpenter ants, some termites, and bees swarm in spring, while some other species of termites swarm in the fall. If you see flying ants around or in your home, you are in the middle of a swarm.
This has two implications: that a colony has established itself in or around your home, or that a colony is about to be established in or around your home. Either one is not ideal!
If you notice groups of winged ants or termites near or within your home, it’s important to have them identified quickly. Colonies of either species can get out of hand very quickly.
Carpenter ant and termite swarms don’t last very long. You might not even notice a swarm had happened. However, both species shed their wings after swarming, leaving them on the ground or window sills. If you see wings, you might have a problem!
Call a Professional Exterminator for Flying Ants or Termites
It’s important to call a professional exterminator as soon as you think you have a flying ant or termite problem. An exterminator can correctly identify pests found in or around your home, and treat for the specific pest and location.
If you’re seeing flying ants or termites, call Antworks Pest Control. We can diagnose, treat, and solve your ant or termite problem! We also offer seasonal inspections, so your home can be safe year-round. Contact us today for your spring pest issues!