Termite vs Flying Ant

Termite vs flying ant in St Louis MO - Blue Chip Pest Services

Certain types of ants have wings that enable them to fly. Seeing a flying ant in your home could be bad news, as these species only tend to fly during mating season. But how do you know you’re seeing flying ants and not termites? Termites pose a significantly worse threat than flying ants, making it important to tell the difference between termites and flying ants—more specifically, between termite swarmers and flying ant swarmers. To better know what type of wood-destroying pest you may be dealing with in your St. Louis MO home or business, the experts at Blue Chip Pest Services are here to share their unique knowledge of these pests.

Termites vs Flying Ants: Appearance

Telling apart termites from carpenter ants can be tricky. In the swarmer stage, they both appear very similar save for a few key differences:

  1. Carpenter ant swarmers: These are black in color, with some species having slightly red coloring. Carpenter ants measure 1/2″–5/8″ with antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Their wings are translucent with a reddish-brown hue, laying over the posterior of the ant. Carpenter ant swarmers are bigger than termite swarmers.
  2. Termite swarmers: Usually, termite swarmers are black to brown in color and measure 3/8″ long including the wings. Their wings are translucent to slightly milky or smoky in color. Their wings may overlap, and are typically as long as or slightly longer than the body; this is the best way to differentiate them from carpenter ants.


Are Termites or Flying Ants Dangerous?

While they both have wood destroying capabilities, termites are typically more dangerous than carpenter ants. The main behavioral differences between these two include:

  1. Termites make their way into a structure around basement windows, doorways, under siding, porches, or any structure in contact with the soil.
  2. Established termite colonies can range from 60,000 to over a million workers and can consume nearly 5 grams of wood per day.
  3. Carpenter ants establish nests in wood that is already in decay, and later expand into normal wood, insulation, or wall voids.
  4. Excavated termite galleries appear to have been sanded. Carpenter ants do not create the extensive damage termites do.

Inspections For Termites vs Flying Ants

The season of the year can also play a role in helping to identify your winged pest. Termite swarmers typically come out in the spring after our first few warm days. Flying ants are year-round. If you see one in your house in the summer, chances are high that it’s simply because one entered through an open door. It doesn’t necessarily signify a problem. Seeing one in the winter could lead to more of a concern because that could mean they’re nesting in your home. Either way, it’s important to always contact your local ant and termite control experts. At Blue Chip Pest Services, we will inspect your property to determine which pest you are dealing with and help to get rid of the problem. 

How Far Do Bed Bugs Travel?

Bed bugs travel in St. Louis MO by latching onto items - Blue Chip Pest Services

Bed bug infestations are infamously linked to traveling. This is because people often unknowingly bring home bed bugs with them after a trip. Bed bugs will latch onto suitcases and make the long journey all the way home with travelers. Once inside, bed bugs can spread throughout your home without you even knowing! Bed bugs may be slow movers, but a single bug can lay up to 12 eggs in a single day—or up to 500 eggs in its lifetime. Needless to say, a small bed bug problem can quickly get out of hand. To stop this from happening, it’s important to know how to keep bed bugs from traveling in the first place. Read on for expert information from Blue Chip Pest Services!

How Do Bed Bugs Travel?

Because bed bugs bite people, it’s easy to assume people can spread bed bugs. However, this is not the case. Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs do not latch onto people. Instead, they will retreat after feeding. Bed bugs most commonly are spread when infested items are moved from one area to another. Typically, this happens when infested furniture or items are moved from one room to another. The spread of bed bugs can also be traced back to travelers and college kids bringing home infested luggage.

How to Keep Bed Bugs From Traveling

To stop bed bugs from spreading in your home, it’s important to learn how to inspect for bed bug activity. In addition, some of the best ways to prevent bed bugs are to:

  1. Be wary of purchasing second-hand furniture unless you’ve inspected it thoroughly for bed bugs.
  2. Place protective covers over the mattresses and box springs in your home.
  3. When traveling, use hard shell suitcases and thoroughly inspect your hotel room for bed bugs. Always store luggage up off the ground.
  4. When arriving home from traveling, steam clean your suitcase and wash all clothing before storing everything away.
  5. If you utilize shared laundry facilities or a laundromat, seal your clothes in a plastic bag to and from the facility, and always fold your clothes at home.

Have Bed Bugs After a Trip in St. Louis?

No one wants to worry about bed bugs while traveling or on vacation. But more often than not, infestations begin after a trip. If you find yourself with a bed bug problem in your St. Louis MO home, it’s time to call in the experts. At Blue Chip, our bed bug exterminators can get rid of bed bugs quickly and help you learn how to prevent them from traveling ever again.