Were those winged crawling things ants or termites?

shelendeAugust 17, 2006

In May we came home to find hundreds of little black winged ant like things on our den floor. The critters never were in the air, only on the floor. The exterminating salesman said it was termites and we purchased a contract. Now the technician who came today said if they were black than they were probably ants and not termites. Termites would be white or gray.

I thought that the flying or crawling things would be black in color when they left to find a new home and white in color when they live in their tunnels and forage for wood. The ones in my house were not in the air at all. The tech seems to be contradicting the salesman and while I feel protected by having a service contract with a company, it is also very expensive. I now wonder, did I have termites? These things did not look like any ants I have ever seen.

Can someone please shed light on my situation

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gin_gin

there are many websites that will help you tell the difference between flying ants & termites. Google termites vs. ants and you will find what you need.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 5:23PM
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shelende

It is now August and I can't remember what the body and wings exactly looked like but based on what I am now researching, I might have been had by the termite company. If they told us that we had termites when we really had ants I am cynical enough to believe that is what these companies do if they can, in order to make money. The things did not fly, and were dark in color. Hower they did shed their wings. When DH and I saw the hundreds of them on the floor we panicked. However they did shed their wings.
What do I do now? Should I just chalk it up?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 9:04PM
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woodswell

"The kings and queens are dark-brown or black and about three-eighths to one-half inch long. They have two pairs of translucent wings of equal length, which break off shortly after swarming."

Eastern Subterranean Termites

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 1:33AM
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housenewbie

Ants have a pinched-in 'waist' and termites don't.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:47PM
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arbisi

If there were that many inside your house all at one time it could very well have been dry wood termites. have/had you noticed any small sawdust looking mounds any where in your home before this happened? I had a similar experience years ago when I lived in an apartment in Ohio. Before the bugs I kept noticing sawdust under my bedroom door and just thought it was something caused by the new door rubbing on new carpet. When we did research when we saw the swarm we put two and two together-removed the door and took it outside and it was full of termites! This was a new door and apt manager and pest control figured the door was manufactured somewhere in the south since this type of termite was not common where we lived.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 8:48PM
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shelende

Thank you all for the information. It is possible that I have termites above a window in that room and the tech is coming back to take the wood molding off. If it is termites in that spot, he will put something on the wall to kill the termites in that area.
But those things never flew, could they be termites if they crawled in from somewhere? Now in August I can't remember exactly what they looked like,it was in May.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:40PM
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arbisi

I guess you will know when he takes the molding off. Hope you get it taken care of soon--let us know what happens.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 11:52PM
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daphnar

We had termites once and they did not fly. Just huge amounts of them crossing the floor and leaving behind wings.

Did you try to kill any when you saw them? I know I did and (I know this is gross) while ants "crunch" (due to the exoskeleton I guess), the termites just skwooshed.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 10:44PM
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pjb999

Interested to find out what the outcome is when person comes, however, in the meantime, maybe if the ants were biggish they were carpenter ants, which are just as bad as termites, little buggerz will eat your woodwork including the bits that hold your house up, just the same.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 2:23AM
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elaforge2_hvc_rr_com

Termites eat wood as a food source so you will not see any wood residue around your home if it is termites. Black ants will destroy a home faster than termites will. They eat thru wood to get to where they want to go, they do not eat wood. Therefore, if you see 'pencil shaving' like material by the window sills, under your sink, etc. it is ants.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 5:47PM
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