Preferred Pest Control Ants and Termites

It's Swarm Season! Learn The Differences Between Ants & Termites

May 26, 2015

As we begin to approach summer, many homeowners may start to witness an alarming display of nature - termite swarms. Swarming termites may cause alarm and confusion for homeowners experiencing the activity in and around their home or property. Termite swarms can emerge by the thousands, and while this phenomenon is impossible to ignore, they are often misunderstood.

Many homeowners mistake termite swarms for flying ants, therefore failing to take the necessary action to eliminate the infestation and colony. Learn about the main differences between these pests and the proper actions to take.

It's Swarm Season! Learn The Differences Between Ants & Termites

What is the Difference Between Flying Termites and Ants?

There are a few main indicators when distinguishing the difference between flying ants and termites. The key differentiators include:

Flying Termites (Swarmers). Winged termites have a straight antenna, broad waist and wings that are the same size.Termites swarm most often in the spring when it is rainy and warm and are less likely to be seen in swarming than flying ants.

Fast Facts:

  • Subterranean termites usually swarm in mid-morning and mid-afternoon. 
  • Flying termites swarm to mate. 
  • Swarmers shed their wings after their flight, then seek out locations for new colonies.

Flying Ants (Alates). Winged ants will have a bent antenna and pinched waist. They have two sets of wings, one is larger than the other. Depending on the species, flying ants swarm at different times throughout the year, especially in the spring and mid-to late summer when the weather begins to warm up. Flying ants are more likely to be seen swarming then termites.

Fast Facts:

  • Ant colonies will typically be about 2 to 3 years old before it produces flying ants.
  • Flying ants also swarm to mate. 
  • Only females survive the reproductive flight. 
  • Female flying ants bite off their wings when they land and burrow into the ground.

Where Do Flying Termites and Ants Nest?

Each species thrive in different climates, however, both need four things to survive - food, shelter, moisture, and optimal temperature.The main nesting difference between the two pests is termites will eat the wood they form a tunnel in and ants will only nest in it. Though you may find ants in dry wood, they prefer to nest in wet, damp, or rotting wood. Termite preferences vary on the particular species. In many situations, these pest can make their way into your home. Regardless of the construction type, all homes can provide the ideal location for infestations of termites and ants.

What Should I Do if I Find Them in My Home or Business?

For many homeowners, the sudden appearance of swarming termites or flying ants may be one of the first signs of an indoor infestation. Both pests will attempt to make their way in through crevices, cracks in the walls, windows and foundations. Find out what you should and should not do when discovering termite or ant infestations within your home or business.

  • Do. Once the colonies have been established, the most effective and efficient tactic is to contact a pest professional. Preferred Pest Control offers leading commercial services in 3 steps
  1. Inspection. 
  2. Treatment. 
  3. Service Plans for year round solutions. 
  • Don't. The best thing to avoid is self treating the infestations. The colonies can be difficult to find depending on the nesting location. In the long run you could cause more damage and harm. 

Take Control!

Have you spotted ant or termite swarms invading your home or property? Don't wait to take action! For efficient and immediate control, schedule an appointment online with Preferred Pest Control or call 515-276-7277 today!