What is a swarm of insects?
When you see a large swarm of winged insects, it can be quite concerning. And springtime pests in Manhattan, Kansas City Metro and surrounding areas like termites, ants, bees, and wasps, can easily invade your home and outdoor areas when the weather is warm. Insects normally swarm outside on a quiet, temperate day for reproductive reasons. These insect swarms are part of the seasonal activity of social insects, termites, and ants most importantly. These swarms typically last for one to a few days. Sometimes, when the ants and termite nests are close enough to your home, they will come indoors and become a pest infestation. If a home has an infestation, chances are it will require professional treatment.
Insects that Swarm and How to Protect Your Home:
Termites – All types of termites swarm. There are three main varieties of termites to look for in Manhattan, Kansas City Metro and surrounding areas:
- Winged termites that are dark brown or black and have four wings.
- Worker termites are white or translucent.
- Soldier termites are brown and have pinchers near their heads.
What does a termite look like? To identify them, you can start by look at its wings and antennae. Termite wings are all the same sizes and their antennae are straight. You should also look for signs of an infestation, like damage under paint or wallpaper, mud tubes, and droppings. Termites sustain themselves by attacking and eating wood. They live in rural and urban environments and can be found in homes, fences, sheds, garages, firewood, and other dead wood. Although termites are not toxic, people who are allergic to termites or have asthma could be affected by termite bites and droppings. What causes the most concern with a termite is the damage they cause to housing and building structures. Once you identify that you have termites, you will need the help of a professional exterminator. Taking care of a termite infestation is a time-sensitive situation. Every minute the infestation continues, the more they can cost you!
Ants – Spring is when ants thrive in a place that stays warm at night and where water and food sources are close by. There are approximately 1,000 known ant species in the United States growing wings and setting off into the air to engage in breeding behaviors every season. Carpenter ants are one of the most common ant species to swarm. They are bicolored ants that are among the largest ants. They usually nest in dead wood, either outdoors in rotten wood or indoors. Ants are often located in crevices, but they can also tunnel into wood to form a nest. They often appear to prefer moist, decaying wood, wood with dry rot, or old termite galleries. After breeding the primary reason why ants swarm is to collect food for the colony. Ants are extremely intelligent and will use the least amount of ants possible to forage for the maximum amount of food. If you have a swarm, it may be time to call in a professional exterminator. An ant expert will be able to locate the nest and eliminate it.
Bees – Honey bees are banded orange-yellow and brown to black in color, but also hairy in appearance. Honey Bees typically swarm when the colony gets too large. This is important for the reproduction of a new colony and the survival of all bees. Honey bees also swarm when all bees, including the queen, abandon the current hive. This will help to keep the bees safe if their current hive threatens the health and safety of the colony. While seeing a swarm of bees can be unsettling, you are not in danger if you leave them alone. Contact your local beekeeper to collect and rehome the swarm.
Often, they will gather on tree branches, light posts, mailboxes, sides of homes, or even your car mirrors because they feel exposed and vulnerable. They look for the perfect spot that’s sheltered from the elements, near plenty of flowers, and has a reliable water source so they can start a new hive. Bees are attracted to protein-based foods and sweets. Be sure to clean up thoroughly after eating outside to keep bees away. Bee-proof your home by removing any standing water and sealing off any entryways a bee could use to enter your home. Bee swarms should be protected rather than destroyed.
Wasps – Wasps are black and have markings of white, orange, or yellow, with narrow or pinched waists. Yellow jackets are usually yellow and black and are not hairy, unlike honey bees. In the warmer months, the queen will come out of hibernation and begin looking for food. Wasps will be seeking protein-based foods, such as the burgers or hot dogs that you cook at your family BBQ, pet foods, nectar, and bird foods can also attract wasps and other pests. Store food items in air-tight containers or store them in an unused part of the yard when you are using the deck or patio. To protect your home and other structures it is essential to repair any broken siding or panels, and patch cracks in walls and other crevices to keep wasps from building their nests in or around your home.
Spring Pest Control
If these swarming pests invade your home or yard, they can be a nuisance. Call the professionals at American Pest Management today. Our expert technicians are ready to make your home and yard a relaxing paradise for the activities you have planned all year round.