Spring in Charlotte not only means warmer weather and boating on Lake Norman, it also signals the beginning of increased pest activity. In Charlotte, like most of North Carolina, bug season starts in late winter and lasts until October. Flying ants and termite swarmers are common at this time of year.
In the spring and summer, Mecklenburg County homeowners witness young adult termites and some species of flying ants swarming, as part of their annual mating rituals. Usually in the daylight and following rain showers, winged reproductives, known as alates, fly around. They are looking for other reproductives of the same species to mate with and form new colonies. This swarming activity can be alarming as well as confusing and many Charlotte homeowners want to know how to tell the difference between termite swarmers and flying ants.
Differences between flying ants and termites
Flying ants and termites may look similar but they actually possess very different physical attributes. Using a magnifying glass, you can see the following differences:
- Ants have thin waists, which is the very narrow area between the thorax and first abdominal segment.
- Ants have a pair of front wings that are much larger than the hind pair.
- Ant wings have few veins and are usually clear.
- Termites’ thoraxes and abdomen are broadly connected.
- Termites have two sets of wings that look approximately the same in size and shape.
- Termite wings have many veins and may be milky-colored.
Prevalent flying ant species
The presence of flying ant swarms indicates that your home or property is either infested with ants or their nests are nearby. In the Charlotte area, the most prevalent flying ant species include:
- Pavement ants – Found often in homes with concrete slab foundations, but can be found in just about any type of construction.
- Odorous house ants – The most common indoor pest ant, named for their coconut smell.
- Carpenter ants – Wood-destroying pests, can cause significant damage to Charlotte homes.
- Red imported fire ants – Don’t come indoors but inflict painful stings that can result in dangerous allergic reactions.
Consult a pest control professional
Because ant colonies can consist of a primary nest with several satellite nests, contact a professional pest control company to eliminate ants from your Charlotte home. Truly Nolen’s trained and certified technicians inspect your home and property to determine a plan of action that includes pet friendly ant control treatments that eradicate colonies. By circulating materials via worker ants, these solutions eventually kill queen ants. With no queen ants, colonies cannot reproduce and will collapse.
Termite swarming can be an indicator of more serious issues, with different solutions.
- Swarming activity outdoors, a reminder
Outdoors, near tree stumps and other wooden materials, swarming may not indicate a termite infestation in your home, but a reminder to contact a professional pest control company for an annual inspection.
- Swarming activity indoors, an indicator of termite invasion
Indoors, swarming usually indicates an infestation somewhere in your home, in which case you should contact a pest professional immediately, as termites, especially subterranean termites can go unnoticed for years. Termites cause structural damage homeowners may not be aware of until expensive repairs become the homeowners’ nightmares.
Signs of termite activity
Most termite species prefer soft or water-damaged wood and some species will infest dry, solid wood as well. Unlike ants, termites do eat wood and subterranean termites build tunnels and claylike tubes from their nests in nearby tree trunks to their food sources in your home. Blistering wooden structures and blackening wood can be indications of termite activity, along with tunnels and claylike tubes leading from the soil to your wooden structure.
Contact Truly Nolen Charlotte
If you find evidence of termite damage to any wooden structures, this may be a sign of infestation. Truly Nolen Charlotte’s skilled professionals take your individual needs into consideration, designing a customized solution for your termite situation. With our combination of above and below ground treatments, we can provide the most complete and thorough termite protection. Our Total Termite Protection Plan treats attics, eaves, walls, windows, doors, plumbing pipes, foundations, slabs and other termite prone areas. Truly Nolen Charlotte protects your home against all types of termites, unlike many pest control companies who only treat for one type of termite.
If you suspect flying ants or termites in your home, call Truly Nolen Charlotte at (704) 910-2936 to schedule an inspection and have a pest-free spring and summer!