Flying Ants or Flying Termites?
Ants and termites both release flying reproductives to start new colonies. We call these winged reproductives "swarmers".
Because they look so similar, termite swarmers are often confused with ant swarmers. However, once you know what to look for, they are fairly easy to distinguish from each other.
Here's how to tell them apart:
Two long outer wings, two short inner wings
Keep wings after flying
Beaded and flexible antenna
All four wings the same length
Drop wings after flying
* NOTE: This information applies to termite species commonly encountered in the central San Joaquin Valley of California. Different species occur in other parts of the country. Appearance and behavior may vary substantially.
To learn more about termites click the termites at the left.
Ants and termites do not swarm at the same time. Here’s a good rule of thumb about their timing (in central California):
If you see "flying ants" in the late summer or autumn, you're very likely seeing drywood termite swarmers.
|WINTER – SPRING
If you see "flying ants" in the winter or spring (perhaps right after a rain storm) you are probably seeing subterranean termite swarmers.
If you see "flying ants" in the early to mid-summer, you are probably seeing flying ants. (Call us for an estimate for pest control service.)
Remember, there are a lot of variables involved with insect behavior. Don't let this general guideline be your only source of identification! The best thing to do when you find any of these insects is to call a professional for an identification. If you live within our service area we'll be happy to stop by at no charge.