It can be scary when you come home from grabbing groceries at the store to find thousands of winged insects crawling on your home, especially if you know that spring is the time of year when termite colonies send swarmers out. Termites are destructive pests that can literally eat you out of house and home. Today, we're going to give you a few ways to tell the difference between winged ants and termite swarmers so you can prevent termites from making a meal out of your Donelson home.
If It Looks Like An Ant
When you see winged insects that look like ants with wings, they're probably ants with wings. This may sound oversimplified, but it's true. A winged ant is just an ant with wings, and you can probably pick an ant out in a lineup of insects even if there is a termite in that lineup. Ants have three distinct body parts: head, thorax and abdomen. At the waist of an ant, between the thorax and abdomen, there is a significant pinch. Termites do not have this pinched waist. It almost looks as if a termite only has two body parts.
You don't have to wing it when it comes to telling winged ants and termite swarmers apart. The wings of a termite swarmer are quite distinct. They are so distinct, you should be able to identify a termite swarmer from a distance.
The wings of a termite swarmer are:
Stacked on top of each other.
Rounded at the tips.
Twice as long as a termite warmer.
The wings of an ant are:
Split, with two stacked on one side and two on the other.
Split by a cleft at the tips.
If you see lots of winged insects mingling with wingless ants, you're looking at ant swarmers, not termites. Termite swarmers would not be mingling with ants. What you're seeing are winged ants that shed their wings after mating. The ants that still have their wings haven't mated yet.
What It Means When You See Swarmers
Termite swarms do not last long or travel far. When swarmers appear on the outside of your home, it is an indicator that you may have a colony of termites somewhere nearby. While it is possible that you don't have an infestation, it is also possible that at least one colony of termites is already feeding on your home. Termites quietly feed on the inside of wood without revealing themselves. It is scary but true.
You should also be aware that a colony of termites doesn't produce termite swarmers until it has matured. This can take three or four years. That means it is possible that those termites have had years to damage your property.
There is more bad news. Swarmers have a job to do. They swarm for a short period of time, select a mate, pair off, and establish new nests. If you're seeing swarmers on the outside of your home, some of those swarmers could have already paired off and started new nests on your property. If they have, you might see shed wings lying around.
What To Do If You See Termite Swarmers
If you determine that you have termite swarmers crawling on your Donelson home, you should contact All-American Pest Control immediately. We have the experience and track record to give your home the protection it needs to eliminate termite colonies that attempt to attack your home. We would love the opportunity to guide you in this important protection for your property. Reach out to us today. We're standing by to assist you.