Sunday, October 14, 2012


We've had a long dry spell, but it was broken last night by a line of thunderstorms that dropped about three inches of rain in a couple of hours. This morning, Awesome Husband called me out to the backyard to see a swarm of insects that seemed to be drifting around in a thick cloud, then fluttering up into the blue sky. Winged termites, hundreds and hundreds of them, were emerging from the softened ground, wandering on the ground for a bit until their delicate wings dried, then taking off. Lit up by the morning sun, they seemed like specks of magic dust, rather than wood-chomping insects.

It's can be hard to tell termites apart from winged ants when they both get flying. Look closely, though. Ants have antennae that are sharply bent, but termites have mostly-straight antennae. Ants also have a narrow waist, but the termite is pretty straight from it's head all the way back.

I even got a chance to test out the ID trick, because this evening I found a swarm of flying ants crawling up a post by the steps leading to the garage. The little bent antennae were a dead giveaway.