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Extension Entomology

Ant and Termite Swarms

— by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

It is that time of year again when termites and ant colonies start producing ‘swarmer’s’.  Swarms of flying ants have already been noted in the last week.  After all of the moisture, and as the temperatures warm into the 70s°F and above, both ant and termite swarming will become more apparent.  Only the adult reproductives of both ants and termites have wings and can fly.  These flights, or more rightly probably called flutters, are of short duration and usually start mid-to-late morning as temperatures warm into the 70’s.  These swarms can contain up to thousands of winged individuals and often attract the attention of birds and other predators that take advantage of these poor flyers for an easy meal.  It is important to distinguish between ants and termites because termites can be very destructive of just about anything made out of wood while ants are more of just a nuisance.  The following can help distinguish between ants and termites.

 

For more information regarding ant and termite biology and control please see these publications:

ANTS – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2887.pdf

TERMITES – http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/mf722.pdf

 

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