Spotting a swarm of flying insects could be flying termites and is an immediate red flag for most homeowners, so you’re probably already on alert if you’re reading this article. Most of us know that a swarm in the air is the first sign of a serious flying termite infestation.
However, not all swarming insects are termites. You could also be looking at flying ants. Read on to learn how to identify the insects you’re seeing as either ants or termites.
Unique Flying Termite Features
If you’re dealing with termite swarmers, you should be able to take note of a few features that are unique to flying termites. For example:
Termites lose their wings, so you might see dropped wings around your home. This is especially true between March and November. Though termites are active throughout the entire year, the most appropriate definition of “termite season” takes place between spring and late fall.
If you notice damage to any of the wood surfaces in or around your home in addition to the above-mentioned features on the insects, you’re dealing with termites. Another tale-tell sign of termite infestation is sudden mud spots in your home or tunnels that appear under the surfaces of wood structures.
Flying Ant Featuresvs. Flying Termites
Let’s say you have not been able to identify termite features in the swarm of insects near your home. You might then be looking at flying ants. If this is the case, you should notice the following features.
Flying ants have tapered waists with a clear separation between the thorax and abdomen.
Flying ants have hard outer shells, similar to the armored appearance of non-flying ants.
Female flying ants lose their wings after mating while male flying ants die. However, you likely won’t find an abundance of flying ant wings laying around.
If these features are a little closer to what you’re seeing in the swarm, you have flying ants nearby. On one hand, this means that you’re safe from having your wood structures eaten through, but on the other hand, flying ants do burrow into wood surfaces to nest.
Whether you’re dealing with one of the many types of termites, flying termite swarms, or flying ants, it’s a good idea to have the issue dealt with before it becomes serious. Contacting a termite exterminator is your best bet if you want to get rid of pest swarms before they make their way into your home. Reach out to Peninsular Pest Control as soon as you can to schedule a visit from an experienced pest exterminator.
Termites are often a silent, invisible destroyer, as termite damage can go unnoticed until the problems they cause have already become an emergency.
By enrolling in a termite protection program or plan, homeowners can prevent thousands of dollars worth of damages from occurring as a result of termite infestation.
Read on to learn about what termite protection is and whether it’s worth the investment.
What is Termite Protection?
Termite protection refers to a specific type of pest control service that extends beyond a standard pest control plan. In comparison with DIY termite bait stations that last about a year, professional termite protection methods (liquid treatment, heavy-duty bait, wood treatment) can provide homeowners with up to five years of protection.
A termite bond is an agreement that clients get into with a pest control company that assures routine termite checks and termite treatment procedures. With these bonds, the pest control company will usually cover any damage that occurs as a result of termite habitation. It’s similar to an insurance policy that protects homes and commercial buildings from termite damage.
Most termite species thrive in moderate temperatures and moist climates, but desert and drywood termites can survive in hot, dry climates like the deserts of the Southwestern US.
These pests are a common issue across most of the country, other than Alaska, where termites are rare due to the cold weather.
Because of how prevalent termite infestations are throughout the US, termite protection is definitely worth considering. Homeowners who live in areas that are particularly prone to termite infestations can rely on termite protection plans to keep their homes structurally sound and increase the overall value of their property.
How Much Damage Can Termites Do?
To provide an accurate estimate of the damage a termite infestation can cause, it’s important to determine the size of the colony. Larger, older colonies can do more damage in a shorter length of time than newer, smaller colonies.
One termite can consume around 2% of its body weight in a single day, and a colony of around 60,000 can eat one square foot of wood in about a month. The colony in this example is quite small, as moderate colonies are at least twice this size. Large colonies can have around 2 million termites in their midst.
Usually, it can take around three years for small to moderate termite colonies to cause noticeable damage, but by then, the cost to remedy the situation is already going to be several thousand dollars.
In any situation, it’s better to prevent damage from being done to a home rather than having to pay for repairs later. Termite protection provides homeowners with significant savings opportunities, as the cost of a plan is only a fraction of the cost needed to replace termite-damaged wood.
For peace of mind, reach out to the Critter Gitter today to schedule an inspection.
There are four main types of wood-destroying organisms in Florida. Subterranean termites, drywood termites, wood-destroying beetles and wood-destroying fungi. Unfortunately, all of these termites are problems for Florida homeowners. The Subterranean termites cause the most damage. Their colony can include millions of termites and the worker termites forage for food 24/7. Their food is the wood in your home: your floors, walls and ceilings.
Termite Damage to homes
Five million homes in the United States have termites every year and the damage caused is normally not covered by homeowners insurance. As a result, homeowners end up paying for the repair out of pocket.
At Peninsular Pest Control, our Warranty includes the cost of repairing any NEW termite or wood destroying insect damage. This includes an unlimited retreatment and repair guarantee of the structure and contents of the home. Additionaly, Peninsular continues to inspect the home annually.
Is the Peninsular Pest Control Termite Warranty transferrable?
YES. The Peninsular Pest Control Termite Warranty is transferrable to a new homeowner and is an added benefit to any property listing.
When it comes to Termite Infestation and Termite Control, a good offense is the best Termite defense. Contact the Best Termite Pest Control Company, the Critter Gitter for a free inspection. Our service technicians are bonded professionals, and will provide you with the treatment you need.
While termites in Florida are often noticed during swarming activity it’s important to know that termite season and termite colonies are always active. Proactive year-round treatment will reduce the potential for damage to your home and trees. Prevention vs. Damage Repair will save money in the long run.
Homeowners often think that because they don’t see termites swarming in the air, that it’s not termite season. This is a HUGE mistake. Termite colonies are active year-round and can enter a home from their subterranean colony at any time and do some serious damage. This invasion often occurs without the awareness of the homeowner.
“The termite problem is changing in Florida. With some invasive species spreading, we are entering a new norm in terms of potential termite damage” said Thomas Chouvenc, an assistant professor of urban entomology at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie. Chouvenc specializes in termite biology and pest control. “Florida’s year-round, warm climate has allowed three invasive termite species to thrive, cause structural damage to our homes and property, while some species are now having a concerning impact on our urban tree canopy.”
It’s important to know that treatment for termites depends on which termite species is present. Knowing which type of termite is invading your property determines the type of treatment that will be most effective.
“Monitoring for termite activity and damage is a critical first step to early detection and preventing damage to trees and houses.”, Chouvenc said. “There are currently two primary ways to protect a structure against subterranean termites: baits or liquid termiticides.”
Liquid termiticides like Termidor® is one alternative for treating termites. A crucial advantage Termidor® has over many other products is that it doesn’t repel termites.
Termites are able to detect the older chemicals in the soil and stay away from them. That means the termites remain active and unaffected, still exploring the area and potentially looking for ways into your home.
Termites can’t detect Termidor® so, as they continue to forage through the soil, they unknowingly come into contact with Termidor®. Termidor® kills termites through contact and ingestion.
Sentricon® takes advantage of natural termite behavior. Worker termites constantly forage far and wide, looking for wood to feed their colony. When they find food, like the monitoring device in a Sentricon® bait station, they leave special scent trails to summon their nestmates to the food source.
This process is designed to kill the members of the colony, including the queen who is capable of laying millions of eggs in her lifetime.
In conclusion, whether you chose Termidor® or Sentricon®, year round termite monitoring and treatment is essential in the Northeast Florida area. The professionals at Peninsular Pest Control will inspect your home and make a recommendation as to the type of treatment that will be best suited to your particular situation.
Here is a VIDEO below that will show you the distinct difference between the flying ant and a swarming termite.
If there is any way to capture one of the insects and preserve them for Peninsular, that would be the best approach. Flying Ants are often confused with Termite Swarmers. Although both can be annoying, it’s most important to monitor and treat your home for termites if the winged insect is a swarmer.
There are several distinct differences between the Ants and Termites. Flying Ants Flying Ants have a pinched waist and Termite Swarmers have a straight waist. Flying Ants have bent antenna and Termite Swarmers have straight antenna. Ants have larger front wings while Termites have wings of the same size. A diagram of the difference between the two insects is visible on the YouTube video below.
If you cannot tell the difference between the flying ant and termite, Peninsular will gladly come out to your home and inspect for you and give you a free estimate on treatment. There are two types of termite treatments to choose from: Termidor® and Sentricon®.
The DIFFERENCE between the two will be explained by the service technician. It’s important to know if you are seeing a flying ant or termite. Immediately protect your home if what you are seeing are Termite Swarmers. Swarmers in the air usually indicate that a Termite Colony is nearby. The Swarmers don’t do the actual damage, that is the job of the subterranean termites. The other member of the termite colony is the soldier who is defending the colony and the Queen.
Many homeowners have seen the green disk-like traps around the parameter of homes and some may realize they are there to protect from termites. But, not many know how the Sentricon Always Active Termite system works.
This video will show you the basics in less than 1 minute: