Is That a Swarm of Termites or Flying Ants On My Property???

With greater numbers of termite swarms this year, Arrow Exterminators urges homeowners to learn the difference to protect their homes with termite prevention

Arrow Exterminators, a local pest and termite control company, is experiencing a large increase in calls reporting subterranean termite swarms throughout the South. Heavy rains and rising temperatures have created prime conditions for termite swarms, which typically emerge around this time of year. Recently, the Florida Department of Agriculture's Entomology Bureau reported that 2009 is a banner year for termites nationwide, with colony numbers already on the rise.

Swarm season for our area usually begins in March and can last through early June. Swarms occur when termites decide to expand their territory, with hundreds to thousands abandoning nests to create new colonies. Not surprisingly, termites become most visible when they swarm - especially if the swarm happens inside a home.

Many homeowners mistake destructive termites for the less harmful winged flying ants species. Or when the swarming stops, homeowners often think the termites are no longer present. That is also a huge mistake since swarming is the telltale sign that a termite colony is present somewhere on the property and that termites are most likely busy inside the walls of the home causing costly damage.

"As termites are known to cause more than $5 billion dollars in damage each year, it is crucial to know the difference between termite swarms and winged ants so you can take the necessary termite prevention steps and protect one of your most important investments, your home, from termite infestation," said Shay Runion, Arrow pest expert.
Swarms inside a home or on the property almost always mean infestation and because the distinct characteristics between termites and winged ants are not always easy to see with an untrained eye, a pest professional should be contacted immediately for a termite inspection. Professionals offer the specialized skills necessary to rid a home of termite infestation: knowledge of building construction; an ability to indentify termite species and the tools to effectively control termites.

Arrow Exterminators offers the following tips for trying to determine the difference between termites and winged ants:

  • Flying termites have two pair of wings that are the same size and shape, while winged ants - such as carpenter and fire ants - have front wings that are larger than their hind ones.
  • Ant antennae are "elbowed," while termite antennae are straight.
  • Their bodies also differ. Termites have a broad waist, while ants have a narrow midsection.

Arrow protects homes from termites with the STEPSâ„¢ Total Protection System, an industry-leading process that utilizes Integrated Pest Management. STEPS includes full inspection of home and property to pinpoint pest control issues; identification of not only the pest, but the true cause of the problem; and treatment in the most environmentally responsible way to alleviate current issues and help prevent any future recurrence.

Consumers interested in protecting their homes from destructive termites this season can view photos and additional information by viewing our Pest Guide or contact Arrow for a free whole home pest control evaluation at 1-888-462-7769.