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Is It a Flying Ant or a Termite?

Ant Pest Control Belmont CA

An insect just flew by at your house. It could be either an ant or a termite, but how can you tell? Winged ants and termites look very similar, but the methods for getting rid of them are not. Ant pest control in Belmont homes looks a lot different than termite pest control. Here are some ways you can tell which insect is flying around your home.

Flying Patterns

Insects may not always be scary, but when they start flying, it can mean that the pest situation at your house is about to get worse. When termites or ants are flying, it means they’re getting ready to mate. This could translate to a substantial increase in the insect population at your house.

Termites tend to mate in early spring. For ants, mating season also often happens in the spring, but it does depend on whenever the conditions are right or necessary. For both ants and termites, mating happens in groups, which leads to a phenomenon called swarming. All of the alates, or fertile insects, take a nuptial flight together. This protects them from predators.

Telling the Difference

Insect pests come in all shapes and sizes, but almost none are as destructive to wooden structures as termites. Termites actually eat wood; ants—specifically carpenter ants—merely excavate wood to build their nest. Between the two of them, termites wreak the most havoc. A colony of carpenter ants may or may not cause enough damage to require ant pest control, but an infestation of termites most definitely will.

Ants have a pinched waist while termites have a straight torso. Ants have bent antennae while termites have straight antennae. And ants have four wings of varying sizes while termites have wings that are equal-sized.

However, because they’re both tiny creatures, it may be nearly impossible to identify them by sight. Another way to identify termites is by looking for discarded wings and examining wood damage. Termites shed their wings after mating season is over. Ants do not. Additionally, because ants don’t eat wood, they will push the shavings out of the excavated cavities (known as galleries). Termites fill in wood with soil and mud, which makes the wood look more ragged. Carpenter ants look for wood that’s already moist or damaged while termites will chew into healthy wood.

When you start seeing flying insects, it’s best to call termite and ant pest control in Belmont. You never know when you might be harboring a termite or carpenter ant infestation. Protect your home from potential wood damage by establishing your home as a no-fly zone.

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