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Quick - What kind of insect is this?

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It looks exactly like a small, black ant but has small wings. It can fly, but not very well. They were pouring out of the wood frame of one of our upstairs windows when I went to lay ds down for a nap just now. I noticed that this particular window was fogged up in a strange way this morning, but it is very humid and stormy today. I've never seen anything like this before. We only moved into this house 10 months ago, so we still have a home warranty. We were also inspected for termites, so we are under termite bond. Do I need to panic? Who should I be calling?

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These could be flying ants. You might have an excessively moist area in the walls--this probably should be addressed.




I've got termites... or do I?



Authored by Dan Huie


Every year we receive numerous panicked calls. Homeowners everywhere find small, winged things and large, winged things all over the place. Homeowners find winged ants pouring out around doors, windows, showers and toilets. Unsettling large winged things fly around the home in the evening and the first thought... Termites!


Many worried callers have been told their structure needs to be treated for termites and fear ensues. Much of the panic is needless.


So what is going on? Granted, pests are flying and crawling their way searching for nesting sites. The most common of these are a combination of Moisture Ant (pdf) and Dampwood Termites. Each year reproductive of both pests swarm, mate and look to start their own colonies. There is a pest problem, indeed, but is it the pest we are all led to believe?


Ultimately, your pest of concern is water damage and rot! Moisture Ants and Dampwood Termites are "secondary pests", the primary being water damage and the rot that follows. Both species only infest damaged wood and their damage is limited to just that.


So, what does this mean? The first plan of action is to locate the source... the damaged wood. Since it is water damaged and rotted, it should be replaced. Of course, many of us can't decide to just rip into a bathroom remodel. If this is the case, what is the next best step? The stop gap answer is to treat the area or void in an effort to eliminate the colony.


For the homeowner this is both good news and bad news. As a homeowner you were prepared for the unknown. Will the exterminators succeed before my house collapses? How much of my home has been devoured by these wood feasting vermin? What will the costs be? The good news is that the pest damage is limited and the pests are controlled with relatively little problem. The bad news is that eventually some work will need to be invested to fix the water damage and/or rot problem.


Hopefully this brings peace of mind to many this season. The pest and the damage is limited! If you know your home is rot free, the problem may not even be yours, but your neighbors. If there is any doubt, contact your licensed, reputable, pest control company to put your mind at ease.

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Okay, I think these are definitely ants, but I'll have to call someone to look at the wood around the window. I can't see any areas that are rotten from the inside, but clearly they are swarming and nesting around the outside of the window frame. It's a second-story window and I just can't see the problem clearly from the ground outside.

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