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Is it a Termite or Ant?

Sometime very soon winged termites will start taking to the air to mate and start new colonies. Hundreds of these "swarmers" can emerge from a single mature termite colony.  Being alert and watching for winged termites is important—it is both evidence that one or more established colonies are in the area, and a warning that they are trying to create new colonies. Swarmers are weak fliers and most stay within a block or two of where they emerged. A few may find their way indoors, but if you see many winged termites indoors it is a sign that they are probably coming from a colony that is already inside your home and eating away at it.

We're including a picture here of both a termite and an ant swarmer, because ants may swarm about the sametime as termites, and it is easy to mistake the two.   Note that unlike ants, termite front and rear wings are about the same length, the wings have lots of veins, their waist is broad,and their antennae are curved or straight, never sharply bent.

Proper identification is important, because the control techniques we use for termites, carpenter ants, and other ants are very different.

Call us for a professionalinspection if you find any of these pests in or near your home.   Save some o fthe pests for us in a jar for properidentification, but please don't fill the jar with water—it rots insects. Whatever the pest, we will design the best control strategy to eliminate them and protect your home.

termite vs ant


 

  • Subterranean termites +

    This species is found in every state except Alaska. Subterranean termites live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas aboveground that can contain up to 2 million members. They build distinctive "mud tubes" to gain access to food sources and to protect themselves from open air. Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive species in the U.S.
  • Formosan termites +

    Originally from China, Formosan termites are the most voracious, aggressive and devious of over 2,000 termite species known to science. Formosans are organized into huge underground colonies, and build intricate mud nests inside the walls of a structure. Because of their aggressive nature, Formosan termites are difficult to control once they infest a structure.  Formosan termites are found in Hawaii, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and California.
  • Dampwood termites +

    As the name suggests, dampwood termites infest wood with a high moisture content. Dampwood termites are normally larger in size than other termite species. They do not usually infest structures because of the low moisture content of wood in structures, however, care must be taken to avoid attracting dampwood termites to a structure. Dampwood termites are found in Pacific coastal and adjacent states, the desert or semi-arid southwest, and southern Florida.
  • Drywood termites +

    This species infest dry wood and do not require contact with the soil, unlike the subterranean and Formosan termites. Drywood termites often establish nests in roof materials and wooden wall supports and can infest dead wood that may be around homes. Although they don’t require as much moisture for survival as other species, they can also be found in wood near a water source such as a leaky pipe or water heater. Drywood termites are found in the southern tier states, from North Carolina through the Gulf Coast and into the coastal areas of California.
  • Is it a Termite or Ant? +

    Sometime very soon winged termites will start taking to the air to mate and start new colonies. Hundreds of these "swarmers" can emerge from a single mature termite colony.  Being alert and watching for winged termites is important—it is both evidence that one or more established colonies are in the area, and a warning that they are trying to create new colonies. Swarmers are weak fliers and most stay within a block or two of where they emerged. A few may find their way indoors, but if you see many winged termites indoors it is a sign that they are probably coming from a colony that is already inside your home and eating away at it. We're including a picture here of both a termite and an ant swarmer, because ants may swarm about the sametime as termites, and it is easy to mistake the two.   Note that unlike ants, termite front and rear wings are about the same length, the wings have lots of veins, their waist is broad,and their antennae are curved or straight, never sharply bent. Proper identification is important, because the control techniques we use for termites, carpenter ants, and other ants are very different. Call us for a professionalinspection if you find any of these pests in or near your home.   Save some o fthe pests for us in a jar for properidentification, but please don't fill the jar with water—it rots insects. Whatever the pest, we will design the best control strategy to eliminate them and protect your home.    
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