Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What bug is this


Bug with wings
Bug with wings  
QUESTION: I get lots of these from under the sidewalk in the backyard and now under window frame.  Please tell me what it is so I can try to eliminate it.  Please try to let me know.   Thanks. I Live in Los Angeles and they appear in hot weather now.they crawl and fly. After a rain they appeared like bees in a hive many of them.
Now they appear without rain.

ANSWER: Dear Ro - You are going to need professional assistance in resolving this situation, as what you have are reproductive (swarming) termites looking to establish new colonies; see http://tinyurl.com/fe5jz for detailed information. I suggest that you contact a certified termite control company in your area to schedule an inspection as soon as possible. See http://tinyurl.com/kw48x6z for a starting point.
Hope this helps,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I guess you saw the photos to confirm?
My house was remodeled 8 years ago. Am I surprised that this happens to newer construction? For sure they are not winged ants? Either way I will call a pest control company.
I appreciate your reply and thank you for your analysis.

Dear Ro - From the appearance of their wings and antennae in the image you provided, these are far more likely to be termites than ants. See http://tinyurl.com/qf3dhsb for a chart on how to tell between winged ants and termites.
Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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