People often confuse ants and termites. Both insects live in social colonies, and may take up residence in or near your home. Knowing how to identify ants and termites will help you decide when to call the exterminator. While they appear similar at first, a closer look reveals some distinct differences. |
When there are swarms of flying insects inside or outside of a home, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a swarm of flying ants and a swarm of termites. Telling the difference is extremely important, because ants are generally just a nuisance, whereas termites can cause extensive, extremely expensive damage to a home.
Wingless Ants and Termites Few people would confuse a wingless worker ant with a wingless worker termite. A worker termite is soft-bodied, light in color, and rarely seen in the open. A worker ant is dark with a hard shell, and often seen inside the home and out.
Sightings of the worker termite are uncommon because if exposed to our relatively dry atmosphere for even a short time, they will desiccate (dry out) and die. One sure way to confirm the presence of termites is the discovery of these "maggot-like" insects. I think they look like pieces of cooked white rice with legs.
Winged Ants and Termites It's harder to tell the difference between ants and termites in their winged reproductive stage, otherwise known as swarmers or alates. In this stage, termites and ants look very similar to each other.
Ant and termite swarmers both swarm in similar weather conditions and generally at the same time of year. They both have black bodies with wings. But beyond that, their physical differences can help you tell them apart.
BODY Termite: A termite has two distinct body segments with a waistline closer to the head than the tail. Ant: An ant has three distinct body segments with two waistlines nearly equidistant from each other, like a snow man.
WINGS Termite: Termite swarmer wings are almost cartoonishly long and narrow, extending a body length or more beyond the rear end or abdomen. The wings of termites also tend to lay back very straight, parallel with the body. Ants: Ant wings extend just slightly past the end of the body. Their wings also tend to lie at a slight angle to the body, pointing away from the body at the bottom.
Witnessing a swarm, especially indoors, is a very dramatic event. Typically you'll see an exodus of several hundred or sometimes thousands of winged insects in just a few minutes.
Reproductives of both ants and termites generally swarm in the spring time, in order to perpetuate the species. They don't want the new nest to compete with the old colony for resources, so they usually depart on windy days that will help carry them far away. The bugs often swarm after a rainfall, when the soil is moist, which makes it easier for them to burrow down into the ground to start their new outpost.
Don't let the sight of winged ants or termites worry you. Swarmers typically live less than 24 hours unless they successfully burrow into soil. Consider the event a red flag warning you that there is a bug colony nearby.
If you believe you have ants, you can try putting out an ant bait like Terro at the site of the swarm. If you believe that you have termites or aren't sure which insect has taken up residence, I suggest you consult with a trusted professional. Termite swarmers by themselves don't damage structures but their stealthy family members will feed on a structure indefinitely unless treated.
For more information of this topic, see links below:
ant control auckland city
Related Articles -
pest control, ant control, pest controller, tick control, pest control auckland, insect control, pests,