Identify This Bug!
October 7, 2019 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Here he is. A little under 1/2" long. Winged, but they all seemed to be walking. Hordes of them in my basement last night, with nary a trace of them this afternoon.
posted by Quisp Lover to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Kind of looks like a termite or a flying ant?
posted by HMSSM at 11:38 AM on October 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

‘Flying ants’ are either new queens who are founding a colony or male drones that will die soon after mating. Technically known as ‘alates’, they were getting ready for a nuptial flight and have all left by now. Generally they pose no harm and their presence only means that you have an ant colony close to your basement.

Termites look very different.
posted by SaltySalticid at 11:57 AM on October 7, 2019 [6 favorites]

The wings look too long for flying ants. Looks more like a flying termite
posted by scruss at 12:00 PM on October 7, 2019

A lot of the features are lost due to low resolution, but it looks like the wing pairs are of unequal length, which points to an ant according to this illustration.
posted by jon1270 at 12:47 PM on October 7, 2019

Looks/behaves like termites - this is the time of year when they swarm.

Probably time to start looking around for little mud tubes . . .
posted by aspersioncast at 1:49 PM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

For the record, that should have read this is a time of year where they swarm, at least here in the mid-Atlantic.

Carpenter ants also have winged swarms. I was taught by our exterminator that ants have "elbowed" antennae, whereas termite antenna is either straight or slightly curved, and the internet seems to corroborate this.
posted by aspersioncast at 2:59 PM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

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