Name that bug!
April 28, 2009 3:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm home alone. Except I'm not. Please help me identify my new visitors.

Here's the bug in question:
http://flickr.com/gp/xsquared/Q8Hz7P

Saw and killed 1 on Sunday night. Thought it was a fluke. Killed four yesterday. Just killed NINE in my dining room. I'll be calling the exterminator tomorrow. In the meantime, I'd like to know what I'm dealing with.

I'm located in NJ, where we're having unseasonably warm temperatures the last few days (near 90F).

The bugs have wings, but I haven't seen any flying. They are about 1 inch long. Most appear to be dazed and have trouble walking. Some are on their backs. All except one have been found on the 1st floor of my house. The house is about 80 years old. We've lived here 5 years and have never seen them before (but we do have an issue with ladybugs).

My husband thinks they look like they are dying, and there's nothing to worry about. I think they look like they are just waking up from a long winter's nap, and soon they'll be flying around my house.

I'll sleep better knowing what this is.
posted by xsquared-1 to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
 
I'm no entomologist, but that looks like an ant queen or drone. They emerge in large numbers after a good rainfall (where I'm from, at least) and swarrm in order to mate.
posted by Maximian at 4:00 PM on April 28, 2009


Hard to tell from the pic but it looks like ants, not termites. But if they are that big they are carpenter ants which isn't good either. Call an exterminator.
posted by JJ86 at 4:01 PM on April 28, 2009


Those look like carpenter ant queens / drones. NOT a good sign, if you live in a wood frame house or have large trees.
posted by strixus at 4:03 PM on April 28, 2009


Yup, those are carpenter ants. Definitely call the exterminator - they can do structural damage to wood. I had them at my last house...ugh.
posted by meerkatty at 4:21 PM on April 28, 2009


I agree, carpenter ants. Ever see a log that looks like it's been turned into a pile of sawdust? Carpenter ants. And that's what they're plotting to do to your house.
posted by HotToddy at 4:36 PM on April 28, 2009


Nthing carpenter ants. More on the little bastards here.
posted by jquinby at 4:39 PM on April 28, 2009


Yes on carpenter ants. When you have the exterminator come out, have them inspect your trees and garage as well.
posted by schnee at 5:33 PM on April 28, 2009


nthing carpenter ants. We had them in my parent's house in NJ too (north jersey, woodsy part of bergen). They can get huge.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 5:33 PM on April 28, 2009


Kill them! Kill them with FIRE!!! Actually, kill them with Terro and pray that your house isn't riddled with ant tunnels. Those things are worse than termites. Here is my little story about those bastards.
posted by idiotfactory at 6:23 PM on April 28, 2009


Just so you know -- there is hope if you find the source of the carpenter ants. Growing up we had a pretty bad infestation in our house, and they did some damage. But once we chopped down the tree they occupied, they went away and didn't migrate to another tree in our neighborhood.
posted by sararah at 7:09 PM on April 28, 2009


Wings mean they've been around a while. At least with carpenter ants they just use the wood to make a nest - termites actually feed on the wood.
posted by Dasein at 11:49 PM on April 28, 2009


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