We all know that termites are a problem in Westchester County during the warmer months, but what about during the winter? Typically, flying termites are noticed in NY between March and May, but it is possible to see termite swarmers (termites with wings) flying around during the winter in heated buildings. Have you seen flying termites around your home? Maybe you think you’ve seen flying ants? Flying ants and flying termites are very different, although they may look quite similar. Here are some tips to help you determine what pest you may be seeing inside your Long Island home.
Flying ants and swarmer termites look similar to the untrained eye, but when you examine the antennae, you will see that a termite’s antennae are straight and beaded while the antennae of a flying ant is bent (or elbowed).
The bodies of termite swarmers are made up of a lower section and a head with a broad waistline. Flying ants are three very distinct body parts- a thorax, an abdomen and a head; their waists are more pinched compared to the waist of a termite.
Termite swarmers have four wings that are all equal in size; these wings are very delicate and can be broken easily. Flying ants also have four wings, but the hind wings are smaller than the much larger front wings; these wings are also much stronger and don’t break off as easily.
What are termite swarmers, you might ask. At Parkway Pest Services, we get asked this a lot! Swarmers are the reproductive members of the species; they are newly hatched king and queen termites with wings that take flight to search for a mate. In the chaos of a termite swarm, a male and female find each other and mate, then they drop to the ground to head off together to build a new colony. During these mating swarms, termite reproductives often lose their wings, which explains why you may find hundreds of thin gray-colored wings after a termite swarm.
Another question we often get asked is “Why are termites swarming in the winter?” This is a very good question, because it doesn’t seem to make sense to most people. Termites may be swarming in your home in the winter because they are confused; you may find them in your heated house or apartment if they are living in very close proximity. They sense the heat in your home, think it’s spring and time to mate and there you have a winter swarm of these wood-destroying insects!
If you suspect you have a termite problem, give the professionals at Parkway a call today. We can offer a termite inspection that will look for all signs of a termite, provide termite identification and offer possible treatment solutions. Termites can do significant structural damage to your home; in fact, termites are known for causing over $5 billion in damages to homes and businesses throughout the US every year! Don’t let this pest problem go another day- contact the pros at Parkway at the first sign of a termite problem in Westchester County, Long Island, Five Boroughs and throughout our service area.