Sunday, July 13, 2008

Flying Ants vs Termites

When you are perusing through your yard on one of those long days of doing yard work, you may discover some winged insects that resemble ants. Are those termites or flying ants? This question is surely to go through your mind as you try to decide which course of action to take to effectively show them whose yard it is. Will it be the boot squash or the gas and fire trick? I’d recommend the boot squash, but what is the difference between termites and flying ants?

Termites, as well as many other species of ants, use their wings and swarm around property to spread their colonies. There are a few different ways to tell which type of insect that they are. The first method that you can do is to try and notice the body parts of the insect. If you are dealing with swarming termites, then you will only notice two body parts – a body and a head. However, ants will have three distinct parts – the thorax, abdomen and head. You do not even need to get really close to notice these overt differences.

If you see either of these in your yard away from your home, then there is no reason to be overly worried that you have an infestation in your house. However, if you see any of these winged insects around your house then it is imperative to tell the difference. For instance, if you notice flying ants in and around your house, then you are likely to have ant colonies inhabiting your house. These flying ants do not roam near houses intentionally, because when they leave their colonies, they are looking to spread out from their colony and form new ones. However, if they are in your house then that means that their colony is close by and you should try to find the source or seek a professional.

If you discover that you have termites, then you have a lot to worry about. Termite damage can cost, on average 40,000$ to repair termite damage. From there, you would want to find out what types of termites that you have and examine your termite treatment options. This way you will know how to deal with these termites and treat them. But that is another issue for another time.

Anyway, back to telling the difference between flying ants and termites is the antennae. Ants will have an elbow bend in their antennae while termites will have straight antennae. Also a termite’s antennae is beaded while an ant’s is segmented. Noticing the way that the antennae of an ant looks like will help you to tell what type of ant that you are dealing with so that you may start treating a potential ant infestation.

Both termites and ants have four different wings. However, a noticeable difference is the size of the wings. A termite’ wings are all the same length. However, an ant’s wings have two larger front wings. The wings of termites are also, generally, twice as long as their body. So now that you know what the difference is, continue with the boot squash and don’t get discombobulated trying to figure out the answer to the other question.


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