Augusta Termite Control: Swarming Termites
One of the most common signs of termites in your home, including those in Augusta, is seeing a swarm of flying insects. With swarming season around the corner, be on the lookout for these groups of flying insects, including swarming termites.
But how do you know if they’re termite swarmers? Unfortunately, swarming termites appear like flying ants, but there are noticeable differences, especially if you can get a closer look.
Here are three ways to tell the difference in termites vs flying ants:
- Waist Size: Flying ants have a pinched waist, while termites have a more streamlined body.
- Antennae Shape: On ants, the antennae are elbowed; but on termites they appear straight and bead-like.
- Wing Size: Termite wings are all equal in length and extend past the abdomen, while ant wings are unequal and generally end at the tip of their abdomen.
Beyond the physical differences, they also possess behavioral differences. Both insects live in large colonies with designated caste systems, but termites can also be found in decaying trees, stumps, wood debris, lumber, and wooden structures. The only ant species that would live in any type of wood are carpenter ants; other species wouldn’t be found in these areas.
If you believe you have termites causing damage to your home, reach out to your local pest control company who can provide a free inspection and service plan that’s right for you and your property.
Bonita Springs Termite Control: Swarming Season
For most homeowners, including those in Bonita Springs, the first sign of a termite infestation is seeing a swarm of flying insects. Not all swarming insects are termites though – some can be flying ants. Let’s break down the physical characteristics to determine the differences between the two.
There are three easy ways to tell flying ants and termites apart:
- Antennae Shape: A termite antenna is straight and bead-like, but on ants they look elbowed.
- Waist Size: Termites have a streamlined body, while ants have a pinched waist.
- Wing Size: Termites’ wings are all equal in length and extend past the abdomen. Ant wings are unequal in length and generally end at the tip of their abdomen.
These two pests also have behavioral differences. They both live in large colonies with designated levels of caste systems. Termites can also be found in decaying trees, stumps, wood debris, lumber, and wooden structures. Some ants, like carpenter ants, inhabit wood, but most other species do not. Unlike ants, termites can cause major structural damage since they eat wood, and ants do not.
They also have different life cycles. Ants go through four stages of development, while termites only have three. During the warm months of swarming season, the fertile winged ants and termites fly from their nests to mate and establish new colonies, making it more difficult to tell the difference between the two pests.
If you believe you have termites causing damage to your home, reach out to your local Bonita Springs pest control company, who can provide a free inspection and a service plan that is right for you and your property.
Termite infestations can cause significant (and expensive) structural damage to your home and property. What makes termites even worse is they usually cause significant damage for a long period of time without being detected.
Spring is an especially critical time for identifying and dealing with termites because that is the time of year when termites swarm to establish new colonies. These swarmers are winged adult termites that mature and fly away from their colonies to continue reproducing. Termite swarming season begins at different times for different species but all of them typically begin when the weather warms up following a significant rain event. For most species like subterranean termites, this falls in early spring. Age is also a factor in determining when termite colonies will swarm. While there is no specific age for a colony to swarm, most colonies aren’t mature enough until they are at least 3 years old.
Swarming termites often gather in areas with low-wind and diffuse light. Swarms can occur over a period of several days. Termite swarms are often confused with flying ant swarms. There are 3 major differences between termites and flying ants: antenna, wings, and body segments. Termites have straight antennae with a slight drooping look while flying ants have antenna that are bent at a 90 degree angle as they come out the side of their heads. Termite wings are basically equal in length while flying ants have front wings that are noticeably longer than their hind wings. Finally, termites have 2 body segments with straight abdomen while flying ants have 3 distinct body segments that narrow at the waist.
Odds are if you notice a termite swarm in or around your property the initial nesting site is not too far away. Termite swarms are a good indication that a termite infestation is imminent. Swarming termites also discard their wings after their new colony is established. Finding piles of discarded wings is also another sign that a new active termite colony is close by.
It is important to periodically check for signs of termites in your home to try and catch an infestation before the damage is significant (and costly).
- Check the exterior of your home and look for mud tubes and small white insects going up the outside of your foundation.
- Tap or probe any exposed wood for hollow sounds.
- Learn to identify termite swarms and keep an eye out for them in the spring.
- Look for other signs of termites in your home such as buckling wood, damaged wood, etc.
- Keep the ground around foundations dry with proper drainage techniques.
- Seal off any points of entry by filling in cracks in concrete foundations and any holes or openings where utility lines and pipes enter the home.
- Consider investing in an annual termite inspection where a professional termite control technician can thoroughly check your home for all of these signs and more.
If you notice a termite swarm this spring or any of these other signs of termites, it’s not too late to act but action should be taken sooner rather than later. With the help of a professional pest control company, you can take quick action for termite treatment while avoiding the costly headache of structural damage to your home. Whether you’ve dealt with termites in the past or just want to avoid dealing with them in the future, investing in termite protection now is always a good idea.
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