Termite swarms are around for a short time starting in late March or early April. They appear suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere. There can be thousands of them, and if left go, they will disappear as quickly and mysteriously as they appeared. Many times this swarm is a homeowner's only indication they have a termite issue. Often, homeowners ignore them thinking it is a harmless but annoying flying ant (especially if they disappear in a few days). But which is it—flying ants or termites?
The easiest and quickest way to tell the difference between a flying ant and termite is by the body. As you can see by the illustration above, ants have three (3) sections, a head, and a two-part segmented body. Termites only have two (2) sections, a head, and a one-part elongated body. So the first thing you should do is get a sample and check out the body.
The next difference, while more subtle, is the wings. Ants have two pairs of unequally sized wings, while termites have two pairs of wings that are both the same size.
The third indication is piles of discarded wings lying around. The termite swarmer's only objective is to mate. They grow wings during this stage, and when done mating, they discard the wings. If you see piles of discarded wings, you probably have termites.
So if a large cloud of swarming insects suddenly appears this time of year, don't panic and don't ignore them. Get a sample, check them out, and call us. There is no obligation to have us come to check it out. We can positively identify them for you and if it is termites give you an estimate for control.