How can I tell if those are flying ants or termites swarming at the foundation of my house?

Ant alate

  • Ants have a thin waist (a narrow area between the thorax and first abdominal segment).
  • Front pair of wings is larger than the hind pair.
  • Wings have few veins and are usually clear.

Termite alate

  • Termite thorax and abdomen are broadly connected.
  • Four wings are approximately the same size and shape.
  • Wings have many veins and may be milky-colored.
Anatomical differences between ant alate (top) and termite alate (bottom).  Drawings courtesy of University of Florida Extension.

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Fire Ants in a Flood

A red imported fire ant colony floating in flood water. Tremendous amounts of rain can fall over a short period of time resulting in flooding of low-lying areas. With this flooding comes the problem of various “critters” trying to find safe, dry ground. In areas of the south infested with red imported fire ants  (Solenopsis invicta Buren) these ants and their colonies can present a potentially serious medical threat to people and animals during times of flooding.

Flood waters will not drown fire ants. Instead, their colonies will