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Horticulture and Home Pest News
Horticulture & Home Pest News is filled with articles on current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology.

Termite Swarmers are a Sure Sign of Spring

This article was published originally on 3/25/2009

Termite swarmers have been reported. The season is off and running!
Termite swarmers are the silver-winged, black-bodied reproductive adults that emerge from established colonies to attempt to start new colonies. Presence of termite swarmers inside the house does not prove the house is infested but it is reason for inspection of the house and property. There is no need to panic or rush. Take your time to get complete information. If termite activity is confirmed or if treatment is recommended, get at least three opinions and estimates from local, reputable pest control firms. See ISU Extension pamphlet Pm 1496, Selecting a Termite Control Service.
 
Termite swarmers. Photo by Aleta CochranTermite swarmers. Photo by Aleta Cochran
 
Winged Ant or Winged Termite? Ants and termites both produce winged swarmers; winged adults that leave an established colony to attempt to start a new colony a short distance away. Winged ants can be easily differentiated by looking at the antennae and the wings. Ants have antennae with a bend, or elbow, and termites have straight antennae. Both ants and termites have four wings, but ants have different sized wings (the hindwings are smaller than the forewings) and termites have four wings that are all the same size.
 
//www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pc_ants.htm
Photo Credit: http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pc_ants.htm

Year of Publication: 
2009
Issue: 
IC-500( 4) -- March 25, 2009