Call Republic Pest Control at 417-732-4295 or find us on the web at republicpest.com
The difference between swarming Termites and Swarming Ants!
When swarms of flying insects are inside or outside of your home, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between flying ants and a swarm of termites. It is very important, because ants are generally just a nuisance, whereas termites can cause extensive, and often times very expensive damage to a home.
Wingless Ants and Termites
People generally don’t confuse a wingless worker ant with a wingless worker termite. A worker termite is soft-bodied, light in color, and usually not seen in the open. A ant worker is dark with a hard shell, and often seen inside the home and out.
Sightings of the termite workers are uncommon because when exposed to our relatively dry atmosphere for even a short time, they will dry out and die. A sure way to confirm the presence of termites is to find these “maggot-like” insects. Most people say they look like pieces of cooked white rice with legs.
Winged Ants and Termites
It is more difficult to tell the difference between ants and termites in their winged form, otherwise known as swarmers or alates. In this stage, termites and ants look very similar to each other.
Ant and termite swarmers will both swarm in similar weather conditions and usually at the same time of year. Both termite and ant swarmers have black bodies with wings. But beyond that, their physical differences can help you tell them apart.
Termite: A termite has two distinct body segments with a waistline closer to the head than the tail.
Ant: An ant has three distinct body segments with two waistlines nearly equidistant from each other, like a snow man.
Termite: Termite swarmer wings are long and narrow, extending a body length or more beyond the rear end or abdomen. The wings of termites also tend to lay back very straight, parallel with the body.
Ants: Ant wings extend just slightly past the end of the body. Their wings also tend to lie at a slight angle to the body, pointing away from the body at the bottom.
When Insects Swarm
Seeing a swarm, especially indoors, is a very dramatic event, some would even say traumatic. Usually you’ll see an exodus of several hundred or sometimes thousands of winged insects in just a few minutes.
Reproductive ants and termites usually swarm in the spring, in order to perpetuate the species. The bugs often swarm when the soil is moist, often after a rainfall, which makes it easier for them to burrow down into the ground to start the new colony.
Don’t let the swarm of winged ants or termites worry you. Swarmers usually live less than 24 hours unless they successfully burrow into soil. Consider the event an urgent warning that there is a colony nearby.
If the insect swarm stops or appears to leave the area, don’t assume the problem is gone. In the case of swarming termites, reproducing termites create the swarm, but worker termites are continually eating wood all year.
Republic Pest Control offers Termite inspections as well as two treatment options. Liquid Termite treatments offer long term control, however these treatments are much more invasive than the alternative Termite Bait Systems. We even offer a combination of the two types of treatment if the situation will allow.
Call Republic Pest Control at 417-732-4295 to schedule an inspection or find us on the web at www.republicpest.com.
Ants and Termites have began showing there ugly little heads around Springfield Joplin and Branson
Ants and Termites have began showing there ugly little heads around Springfield Joplin and Branson the last couple of weeks. We have received calls of Termites swarming in some clients homes and offices. This is a very early start to the swarm season for Southwest Missouri, however we believe that these are just a few rare events, and that we will continue to see increased activity as we see more Spring like temperatures and weather patterns.
One of the most common ants found in the Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas are Odorous House Ants. These ant gets there name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These ants range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.
Odorous House Ants Characteristics
Color: Brown or black
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/16-1/8 inches
Flying: Winged swarmers
Habits: Odorous house ants like to eat sweets, but in early spring will focus on proteins for increased egg production.
Habitat: Typically living for several years, these ants make their homes in exposed soil and wall voids, but can often be found overwintering in crawlspaces.
Threats: These ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.
Prevention: Eliminate standing water. Pests such as odorous house ants are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood.
If you would like to learn more about our Pest Armour home protection plans give us a call at: 417-732-4295
Here is a good article on Angie’s List about Termite Bait Systems. We offer the Hex-Pro Termite Bait System and Termidor Liquid Termite treatments. As described in the article we also use a combination of the two applications to provide effective and safe protection for Homes and Commercial structures throughout Springfield, Branson, Nixa, Ozark, Rogersville, and Joplin Missouri.
With the weather this week in the Springfield and Branson Missouri area having lows in the 30s Fall has arrived, and winter will be here before we know it. We get many customers who call with questions regarding fall pest-proofing their home. The National Pest Management Association has put together a good list of things you can do to decrease the chance unwanted pests will enter your home.
The NPMA recommends these fall pest-proofing tips:
Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter.
Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house; keep shrubbery well-trimmed.
If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect, identify and treat the problem.
Visit www.pestworld.org for more information.