Kansas State University


Extension Entomology

Tag: moisture

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



–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

Some winter grain mite infestations have been noted in the last 7-10 days.  These seem to become evident every fall, especially under dry conditions, but don’t warrant a pesticide application.  Moisture and/or colder weather will alleviate these infestations, at least until warmer spring weather returns.  For more information on winter grain mites, please visit: http://entomology.k-state.edu/extension/insect-information/crop-pests/wheat/winter-grain-mite.html



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