Termite swarmers versus ants with wings.

Termite swarmers

Termite swarmers

If you find ants with wings in the spring, there is a possibility that you have termite swarmers.  Termites swarming inside are an indicator that a mature termite colony has access to the structure.  The termite has a thick waist versus an ant has a pinched waist.  The termite has a curved antennae which appears to be made of beads versus the ant has an elbowed antennae.  The termite will drop its wings and pair up pretty quickly, so you are likely to see wings all over the ground and insects walking in pairs.  Termite wings are all the same length and have a dark vein down the leading edge.  Ant wings pairs are not the same length.  Termites are interesting for many reasons, including they mate for life and the male and female will live up to 25 years.  The eastern subterranean termite we have here in eastern Massachusetts cannot set up in the wood above ground inside because it is too dry and needs to find a sunny spot of soil to dig into to start a nest.  Termite inspections are usually free unless you need paperwork for a FHA or HUD NPMA 33 form.  Call us for a free inspection if you spot swarmers.