It can be difficult to tell the difference between termites and ants. Termites have two pair of wings (front and back) and are of almost equal length. Ants also have two pair of wings but the fore wings are much larger than the hind wings. Also, termites have relatively straight antennae while ants have elbowed antennae.
- Ants generally do not swarm at the same time as termites, but it can happen.
- Termites have a thick waist and ants have a narrow waist
- Termites have straight antennae and ants have elbowed antennae
- Termites have four wings that are all equal in length
- Ants have four wings, however, two are larger and two are smaller
Large swarms of winged insects inside and/or around the home is the most obvious sign of termite activity. Swarming occurs when reproductive male and female termites exit the colony and attempt to begin building a new colony. Since it takes most termite colonies at least three years to produce termite swarms, this is a likely sign of an ongoing problem.
When do termites swarm?
The exact dates termites swarm vary each year according to geographic regions, species type and weather conditions. Swarming season typically begins in March in the Mid-South area and can last through May or early June. As a general rule, most subterranean termites swarm under these conditions:
- Daytime, usually mid-day
- Often following rain
Other signs home owners should watch for are dead termites or wings around windows, doors, heating vents or in bath-tubs and sinks.
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