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What are these ant looking things with wings?

Why am I seeing ants with wings on them?

With the weather warming up, and especially combined with intermediate rain showers, there are a lot of critters flying around. As Spring approaches it is common to see flying ants and flying termites. So much so, that many people think, mistakenly, that all termites have wings.

What are they doing? In the case of termites and ants, making and dispatching winged reproductives is one of the ways the queen ensures the propagation of their species. Most of the colony’s work is done by the workers and soldiers; but occasionally the queen sends out numerous, winged-reproductive kings and queens to mate and start new colonies of their own.

How do I tell the difference between a flying ant and a flying termite?

Let’s talk termites first. There are mainly two kinds in South Carolina: Subterranean and Dampwood.

In the case of the Subterranean Termite, the winged reproductives do not fly very well, and you will notice that the body is not segmented like an ant. Instead, its body is one black, elongated, single section. See picture below.

winged termite queen

The second kind is the Dampwood Termite. It’s winged reproductives fly slowly, but quite well. They also have a single, elongated body section, but their body color is much more reddish than black see picture below.

winged termite

In the case of the winged Ant, these can be easily distinguished from termites because you can see the three (or more) distinctly segmented body sections.

winged ant

All mature ant colonies have winged reproductives, but the larger-sized ones, quarter of an inch or larger, are Carpenter Ants.

winged ant queen

These are of particular note because they will infest wood, excavating and colonizing inside wood, and creating a lot of damage in our homes and structures.

Look for these flying ants and termites, particularly in the evening, near dusk. Contact All Green Termite & Pest Control for a free inspection for termites and ants. Call us anytime at 843-300-9492

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