Spring brings some wonderful things: warm weather, sunny days, and pretty flowers. Everything is fresh and new. Spring also brings other less desirable things like household pests, ants and termites. Many people see small, dark insects swarming inside their home or near it and worry if they have a termite infestation. It is a valid concern which is why it is important to know the difference between swarmers (termites that reproduce) and ants. They can look very similar but there are some distinctive differences that will help.
Know your Termites
Termites have a very straight, distinctive looking body. It is rectangular and broad-waisted in shape with antennae that are almost completely straight. Its four wings extend beyond the body (about twice the body length) and are all four the same size. You cannot see the wing veins of termites without a magnifying glass. Termite wings are also very fragile. If you touch them they will likely fall off. In fact, if you find an area where the insects have been swarming look for broken wings on the ground or floor. That is a good indication that you are dealing with termites as opposed to ants. Termites can do serious damage to wood structures.
Know your Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are also quite distinctive in appearance. The ant body is noticeably segmented. You can clearly see the segments and thin-waisted appearance. Their antennae are bent or elbowed and the front wings are much larger than the rear ones but they barely extend beyond the body. If you look closely at the wings you can see dark veins running through them and often a black dot at the tip of the longer front wings. They are also not as fragile as termite wings. Ant wings do not easily break off. Carpenter ants are capable of doing significant damage to a structure, but the typically pose more of a nuisance than a damage problem.
If you can’t tell or need help with an infestation
If you notice swarmers in or around your home or office it is a good idea to have a pest professional come out to take a look. Even if you correctly identify the type of pest, whether ant or termite, it is a good idea to take steps to get rid of them. If you can’t tell the difference or you aren’t sure, then it is very important that you get a pest professional out as soon as possible. If you do have an infestation, time is crucial. Waiting could cost you. Read more on pest control or call Horizon now.