Identifying the Difference Between Termites and Flying Ants
Mosquitoes are certainly a ubiquitous symbol of Florida, but for the local homeowner, there is no doubt that the most feared are termites. From Tampa to Melbourne, the beaches to the big cities, our termite populations thrive in the state’s semi-tropical and humid environment. Our environment, through its combination of constant heat and moisture, can weaken many types of wood oftentimes leading to termite problems. Having Tampa termite control professionals such as Apex, with decades of experience on our side, will go a long way to securing your home and business.
To even start understanding the termite problem, and how you can combat it, you should be able to identify both the bug and the problems they can cause. We have four common types in the Tampa area:
- Eastern Subterranean termites
- Powderpost termites
- Dampwood Termites
- Formosan termites
There are other sub-varieties, but these four (and especially the eastern subterranean) are the main instigators in the majority of home damage situations we see. Beyond identifying types of termite, it’s even more critical to tell the difference between the dangerous wood eaters listed above and harmless flying ants.
The two actually look remarkably similar, and termites do not, in fact, initially arrive at a colony by crawling, they fly in the early stages of their lives. Differences in flying ants and, say, dampwood termites are easy for the professional to see, but we figured we’d give you a few tips to begin with.
- Ants Do Not Cause Structural Damage: It’s best to never let it get to this point, but if the wood you keep seeing those winged creatures fly in and out of begins to sag or crack, there’s a pretty good chance you are looking at a termite colony.
- Appearance: Differences are a bit more difficult to tell because they are indeed so similar. But the main points of emphasis are a termite’s wider, more-uniform body and its unbent antennae. The arms and legs of flying ants are also bent, and they have notably different sized sets of wings (termite wing sets are basically identical).
- Life Cycles: Flying ants only live for a few months. A well-established termite colony can thrive for decades, and an individual insect itself can live for years. Point being, if the pest in question seems to be a permanent fixture to a structure, it’s probably a form of termite.
- Wood: Flying ants eat a lot of things. Termites eat wood.
Taken together, these are just some tips when questioning some buzzing swarms around your Florida fence posts. For a truly thorough treatment in Tampa termite control, however, never hesitant to contact the professionals at Apex. We offer free, no-obligation inspections and quotes and can be contacted anytime at (866) 675-4070.