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Insect and Spider Identification: Little critters that appeared after getting new couch

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Forum: Insect and Spider IdentificationReplies: 9, Views: 60
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Ian2013
Tysons Corner, VA

June 13, 2013
4:29 PM

Post #9558079

Hi All - I would really appreciate your help with this one as I'm a bit stumped as to what they are. These little guys started appearing after we got some new furniture. Not a huge amount of them but enough that we notice. Apologies for the quality of the pictures, I haven't been able to snap off many good ones.

There is an album of photos here: http://imgur.com/a/Xp1UK

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Ian2013
Tysons Corner, VA

June 13, 2013
4:32 PM

Post #9558083

Whoops...apologies for the picture. I attached a better one here.

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speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 14, 2013
2:36 AM

Post #9558444

Ian, that looks JUST like what we've got swarming around our front door!! (see attached pic). Now, after all the researching I have done, I firmly believe they are carpenter ants. However, we had Orkin come out, and that guy insisted that they are not, but just "regular winged ants". I think he was just too concerned that if they were treated like carpenter ants, it would cost us $200 bucks more for the service. DH told him we don't care about the cost, just GET RID OF 'EM... the long-run cost is so much more if we don't treat 'em right, but he insisted...

OK, that all being said, they look an awful lot like this pic you shared here. Dark brown/black, 2 sets of wings - with the upper pair being longer than the lower pair - a pinched-in "waist", bent (like an elbow) antennae, and about 1/2 inch long.

So, my guess is (and mind you, this is just a strong guess) that it's carpenter ants. A few questions though: This new furniture; is it wood? Are there any solid wood parts to the furniture? Carpenter ants like to BURROW into wood, but they do not eat it, (like termites do). Where was the furniture (being stored) when/before you brought it home? Any possibilities of damp condition where it was stored? (and yes, even a furniture store warehouse can provide those damp conditions - leaky roof near where your furniture was sitting and BINGO!).

Now, if that's what they are, (for both of us!), what are we gonna do about it?? < =/

EDIT: to say, I captured one 'cause we're supposed to have a termite-specific inspector come out soon and I want him to see close up what they look like alive. It's in one of those tiny Glad-ware containers, and I put a dime in it as a size reference. Still trying to get clearer pics, but the iPod isn't as good as I'd like it to be for close-ups. =/

This message was edited Jun 14, 2013 4:40 AM

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Flapdoodle
Minot, ND

June 14, 2013
5:47 AM

Post #9558556

@Ian2013 - Whatever it is, it does not look like a termite to me.
@speediebean - Yours definitely is an ant, but does not appear to be a carpenter ant...

speediebean

speediebean
Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 14, 2013
5:37 PM

Post #9559301

Flapdoodle (good Heavens what a great name!) could you elaborate for me please? What about it says that it doesn't appear to be one? Description-wise, it matches perfectly, and though ya can't see it in the pic, they do have those little elbow-bent type antennae. (I really should get a clearer pic, if that sucker would hold still when I take it out of the container!)

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 15, 2013
5:02 AM

Post #9559639

speedie- put it in the fridge for ten minutes and it'll hold still for a few.

Actually- kudos to Orkin for NOT spraying something and charging you, if against his personal advice and we assume, trained, professional opinion.
; ^)
Aren't carpenter ants very large? CHeck the size. You're correct with the clues that it IS an ant.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 15, 2013
5:04 AM

Post #9559641

Ian- unless you see them coming FROM the furniture, don't assume a strong connection. Ants are very common and they swarm a lot.
; ^)
Flapdoodle
Minot, ND

June 15, 2013
6:47 AM

Post #9559800

@speediebean - I said that your specimen did not appear to be a carpenter ant as I am unaware of any Camponotus sp. in your area having a very pale abdomen in conjunction with a dark thorax. A clearer image, especially one with a side view of the thorax, would be helpful. All ants have the 'elbowed' antennae; one of the features that distinguishes them from termites.
joefly
Clearwater, FL

June 15, 2013
12:49 PM

Post #9560081

Wrong post

This message was edited Jun 15, 2013 3:55 PM

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Flapdoodle
Minot, ND

June 15, 2013
5:17 PM

Post #9560255

Looks like a brown widow spider...

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