No doubt that the last thing anyone wants is to worry about is seeing tiny bugs crawling and flying all over the house. One of the first things everyone think is that they have “termites!” But, these insects actually might not be termites. There are several varieties of ants that have wings and they sometimes like to come inside for a visit. Many ants at first glance have the same appearance, shape and size as termites, so how do you tell between them? The tips below will help you from bugging out if you ever come across these winged and unwanted visitors.
The scientists at the University of Florida say there are three ways you can tell if you have termites or flying ants that can be seen with the naked eye. The first thing you must do is get close to the visitor. Then you must look to see if the insect has an elbowed antennae that is bent at a 90 % angle, has a constricted waist that looks like it is in the shape of an hourglass, and has forewings that are larger than the hind wings. The termite, on the other hand will have antennae that are beaded and stick straight up from the head. The termite will also have a broad waist with no defined waistline and two sets of wings both of which are the same size.
Another way that may not be as reliable to determine which insect you have is location in your home and the time of year you find them. Ants will come in all year long, but subterranean termites will tend to come around more after a rain, when it is warm, and in the spring. Ants would rather snack on proteins and sweets whereas termites prefer to devour wood and swarm inside where you will often see hundreds of wings near the windows where they drop off. If winged ants are already inside, you may see them scouting where to build a new nest and colony. Remember that these methods are not definitive ways to figure out what kind of insects you have, but at least you can remain calm until you can be more positive.
The internet is another way to find out the kind of insects you have, where it has many great resources, and pictures so you can compare. This helps especially on the weekend, late at night or during the holidays, but remember that the internet may not give you correct information every time. Looking online can also help to calm your nerves, but you should remember that it is important to call a professional pest control expert right away to get a definitive answer.
Your best bet to determine exactly what kind of insects you have is to give us a call, or use your smartphone to send us a picture. Visit a pest control website and upload your bug picture. You can also arrange for a professional to come out and investigate the problem. They can diagnose the issue, make recommendations and let you know how to best get rid of your bug problem.