Thankfully, winter will soon give way to the official start to spring. Hurray! It’s been a cold one…. Burr! And as the temperatures rise, you may notice something outside or inside your house, swarms of insects flying around. These swarms are most likely one of two pests - termite swarmers or flying ants, both the reproductive species of their respective colonies. Although these two pests are very similar looking from a distance, there are some differences both physically and behaviorally that are important in distinguishing one from the other.
Although hard to tell at first glance, there are some significant differences in physical appearance:
Broad, straight body
Beaded antennae, straight the whole length
Two sets of equal sized wings
Distinctly pinched waistline, three body segments
Antennae have a distinct, noticeable bend in them
Two sets of wings, with the rear set being smaller
One thing that these two species have in common is that they are attempting to start a new colony. This can be a nuisance and possibly damaging to your property and home. Termites seek to establish colonies underground in the woods and on properties. Not only do they feed on the wood in trees and shrubs, but also the woodwork of your home. As you can expect, this can cause a great deal of damage to your building, potentially even damaging the structural support of your house. Some signs that termites are eating away at your house include squishy floors or ceiling, sagging woodwork, and tiny holes throughout the woodwork, or evidence of termite mud tubes.
The only type of ant that will cause any damage to the woodwork of your house is the carpenter ant. Although they do not “eat” the wood like a termite, carpenter ants will chew tunnels in the wood and attempt to build a colony. And while carpenter ants might not pose the same level of threat as termites, their damages are often comparable in severity and costs if the infestation goes undetected and untreated for a long period of time. Soon you will see them everywhere in your house, on the decks, and around the property.
Although these swarms of ants and termites you may see buzzing around your Tennessee property this spring do not bite or sting, they are still a sign that a colony is nearby. And the longer you wait to have these swarms identified and exterminated, the more damage they will cause. For the best Nashville ant and termite control, call us at All American Pest Control!