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Monday, December 29, 2014

Swarming Bugs; Ants or Termites?

Q.  We were out in our yard last weekend putting up decorations when we noticed small bugs flying up out of our yard. They were thick groups of them coming out of small holes that looked like grains of rice clumped together in bunches. There had to be thousands of them. The "exodus" lasted for about an hour and then it was done with no sign they had been there.  Can you tell what they are?  Are they harmful?  Do we need to do something to get rid of them?
Flying ants or termites. The length of the wings suggests termites but a visual check of the bodies and antennae need to be done.
A. These look like winged ants or possibly winged termites. It was difficult to tell from your picture. They both swarm in identical fashions. The ants are just a nuisance. If these are termites then you may have a problem.
You need to catch some of these insects and look at their body shape, antennae and length of their wings. Ants have a constricted waist or segmented body parts. Termites do not have these segmented body parts and body parts are not as easy to distinguish. 
I have provided a link on my blog for you to follow or you can type the following into your search engine that will help you identify the difference between the two different insects. 
If you believe these are termites contact a reliable pest control company and schedule a follow-up.

Follow the link below or on my blog to read information about flying ants from Colorado State University. More about flying ants

1 comment:

  1. Everyone has termites in their yard as well as ants. They are part of the environment, are important recyclers and are harmless (ignoring stinging ants)---though pest companies would love to sell, I mean tell you different.

    Termites and some ants only become destructive when they take up residence inside our structures. They will constantly be testing our abodes. But they will not take up residence unless they have a source of water. This can come from a leaking pipe, leaking roof or condensation from the bathroom or atmospheric temperature differences between inside and outside. Fix the problem with the water and any colony will die out. Condensation is the hardest to fix as it may represent improper design, improper air handling or venting that has been changed since the house was occupied.