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Flying Ants vs Termites

Summary: Knowing the difference between flying ants vs termites can save you a lot of money. Treatments for flying ants usually costs considerably less money than a termite treatment.

When reports of termite swarms start appearing on TV, radio and newspapers, property owners become acutely aware of every flying insect they see.
When the weather changes and things begin to turn green the world comes alive with newly hatched insects of all varieties. That, of course, makes the phone ring off the hook in pest control offices across the country. The calls pour in with reports of flying ant-like insects or from people claiming they have termites. The fear can be heard in the callers' voices. They need us to check their homes right now.

***image3***First, let's all keep a cool head. Termites are not buzz-saws as portrayed in cartoons. They will not eat a house to the ground overnight, in two weeks, two months or even two years. They are capable of damaging wood, of course, but not in the blink of an eye.

Step one in properly identifying a termite is to capture one undamaged. Don't crush, smash or otherwise make it unrecognizable. Collect it in a small bottle and add a drop of nail polish remover to kill the insect.

Step two is to examine its body to determine if it is an ant or termite. This is easy. Ants have three clearly defined body segments. There is no guessing. There is clearly a head, clearly a middle (thorax) and clearly a bottom (abdomen). Ants have an obvious pinched waist whereas termites do not. Ants also have bent antennae whereas termites have straight antennae.
Step three is to look at the wings. Ant wings are clear and veins are plainly visible. Termite wings, if they have not fallen off, are not clear and the veins are not obvious. Termite wings are milky in color. They are not bright white, but sort of a gray-white color.

That's it! There is no other magic involved. Use a magnifying glass to confirm your findings. This simple lesson can save you from the heart failure you were about to bring upon yourself when you first found those little winged critters. If you discover it's ants, rather than termites, there are lots of excellent ant control products available. If you find that you have termites you can try to do it yourself using an excellent product like Termidor or you can call a pest control professional to do the work. Read about Termidor by clicking the link and going to the "label" section to understand what is involved in applying the product.

Now you can make an informed decision.

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