Termite Season is coming...Are you Ready?
The most visible sign of a termite infestation is the production of winged reproductive termites called swarmers. Thousands of winged termites emerge from the colony in the spring months seeking mates and places to start a new colony. Most of the swarming termites do not survive the event because predators like birds or lizards feast on the swarm or they do not find a suitable place to begin a new colony. In order for a recently mated king and queen termite to start a new colony, they must locate an adequate location that offers moisture, a cellulose food source and soil. Because of these prerequisites, most swarming termites inside a home do not spread the infestation, but do serve as an important warning sign that the structure is infested.
To the untrained eye, winged termites can sometimes be mistaken for flying ants. Superficially, flying ants and winged termites may look similar, but there are three easy ways to tell the two pests apart. First, termites can be differentiated from ants by the shape of their bodies. Ants and termites, like all insects have three body parts - head, thorax and abdomen. Unlike termites, ants have a distinct waist-like division between the thorax and abdomen. Termites have a broad waist. Another way to distinguish between ants and termites is to take a close look at the antennae, but ants have bent, or "elbowed" antennae. Wing shape is the 3rd and final way to gell a winged termite from a flying ant. All four wings on a termite are the same size, while the front wings of ants are larger than the hind wings.
Even though swarming termites represent an easy way to determine an active infestation of termites, homeowners shouldn't be lulled into thinking that the structure is free of termites just because there's no sign of a swarm. Termite colonies typically don't swarm during the first few years of their existence while the population grows. Alternatively, swarms may occur, but may happen outdoors, or in other areas where they remain undetected.
If you observe winged insects or suspect termites may be present inside or around your home, contact us immediately for a thorough inspection. In fact, it is a good practice to have an annual inspection of your property. Call today to request a quote.