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Ask the Orkin Man

How do you know if you have termites?

Question: How do you know if you have termites?  We had some winged insects
that came out after a heavy snow day between the sidewalk and brick patio.

Termite Damage in Wood Siding
Termite Damage in
Wood Siding

ANSWER: Sometimes it is difficult for people to distinguish winged ants from winged termites. They can look very similar. There are three body parts that are different—the waist, the wings, and the antennae. You’ll have to look closely. It helps to have a magnifying glass to make the distinction.

Ants (winged ants) can be distinguished by the presence of a narrow waist. The ants have three distinct body segments. Winged termites seem to have a long slender body that is made of one segment, although, in reality, there are three segments there. Their broad waist makes them appear as such.

Termite Damage
Termite Damage

Winged ants, called swarmers, have two pair of uneven-length wings. The front wing is much larger than the back wing. Termite swarmers have two pair of identical wings—the front wings and the back wings are the same.

Ants have antennae that are bent or elbowed. Termites have straight antennae.

Since you are dealing with probably your largest investment, your home, call your local Orkin Branch Office. A highly trained Orkin Termite Inspector will come to your home and conduct a thorough inspection of your home, both inside and out. Once finished, the Orkin Inspector will assess the situation and develop a customized treatment plan, whether preventive or corrective, that has been scientifically proven to work and that best fits your specific needs.


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