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.
Lawn Care and Landscape Services during the cooler months.
Fall and Winter Care is Critical for the Health of Your Lawn
During the cooler months, the growth of your lawn slows and aggressive weeds, fungus and other diseases can damage your lawn. Peninsular Pest Control knows what it takes to combat these issues to ensure your lawn’s roots are strong and healthy for spring growth.
Right now, we’re applying the proper balance of nutrients to keep roots strong, and pre-emergent weed applications to keep cool-weather weeds under control and protect your lawn throughout the cooler months.
Our comprehensive Lawn and Landscape Program includes:
Targeted control and prevention of weeds, insects and diseases
Lawn fertilization services using custom-blended fertilizer, applied according to all county and state ordinances, and application of micronutrients
pH soil testing to determine the precise chemistry of the soil in your lawn and landscape
Annual lawn aeration, which enhances the delivery of oxygen, water and nutrients to the lawn’s roots
As we all know, we’re currently experiencing drought conditions and many lawns are suffering from the effects of little to no rain. This can appear as brown spots in the lawn. It is very important to check your irrigation system to ensure proper volume and coverage.
Sprinkler gears and gaskets do wear out. Often we find brown spots in the lawns where the sprinkler heads start to miss and the lawn turns brown. We also have “hot spots” in our lawns which may require us to add a little extra water. This can be done by hand watering those areas.
A common issue we find is when the power goes out, the timer will sometime reset to the factory setting so be sure to double check it. This can definitely contribute to the lack of water and to the brown spots in your lawn.
Here’s George Richardson, Technical Director, to tell you a little more about drought and these brown spots, and what to do if you think your lawn is suffering from it.
If you problem is NOT drought, let us help you keep your lawn pest free, healthy & green! Our Winter Lawn Program suppresses weeds even when your lawn is dormant in the winter. Spring calls for a pH check of your soil and then adding lime, if needed. Lime application will assist in the uptake of the fertilizer that is applied as your lawn begins to Green Up. Peninsular’s Turf Quality Management Program is individualized, giving your lawn the proper combination of fertilization, insect and weed control at just the right time. We also provide treatment for shrubs! Our prompt courteous service is always guaranteed.
We proudly service clients in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Ponte Vedra, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Green Cove Springs, Middleburg, World Golf Village, St. Johns, St. Augustine, Mandarin, Baldwin, Fernandina Beach, Fernandina, Amelia Island, Yulee, Callahan, Macclenny, Florida
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.
The City of Jacksonville Environmental Quality Division reminds Duval County residents that as they set their clocks forward one hour on Sunday, March 13th for Daylight Savings Time, they may once again set lawn and landscape irrigation to no more than two days per week. Designed to conserve Jacksonville’s water supply and reduce the amount of nutrients flowing into the St. Johns River, Chapter 366 of the City’s Ordinance Code limits watering to two days a week during Daylight Savings Time
Residential properties with an address that ends in an odd number or places without an address may water on Wednesday and Saturday and those addresses which end in an even number may water on Thursday and Sunday. Non-residential irrigation is only permitted on Tuesday and Friday.
Visit coj.net/fertilizer for more information including exceptions to the schedule, penalties and enforcement.
*An odd number address is a street address whereby the numeric part of the address is an odd number (103 John Doe Street) or the alpha-numeric part of the address ends with any of the letters N-Z (104-N John Doe Street).
**An even number address is a street address whereby the numeric part of the address is an even number (108 John Doe Street) or the alpha-numeric part of the street address ends with any of the letters A-M (109A John Doe Street).
Rich Jones, Host of WOKV’s Morning Show, asks the question and George Richardson responds. George Richardson, Technical Director for Peninsular Pest Control, shows you how to determine if you have chinch bugs or mole crickets in your lawn.