Subject: Are they termites?
Location: Los Angeles, CA
December 6, 2012 3:56 pm
Hi! This morning I woke up and saw a bunch of these between my window and window screen. I got them all outside of the window and closed it, but when checked later, a few more showed up between the screen and the window. I don’t know how they got there! I made sure my window was locked. Also, it rained a few days ago and my window sill contains soil but no plants. Are they termites or flying ants? Would I need to leave my building to have them exterminated? Are they harmful to people? Thanks!
Sorry I couldn’t get good photos. I didn’t want to get close to them!
Signature: Clueless

Termite Alate

Dear Clueless,
You are not giving yourself enough credit.  You are correct.  This is a Termite, more specifically a Termite Alate, the winged reproductive caste.  You can tell by your photograph that it is a sunny day.  Termites often swarm on a warm sunny day immediately after a good rain.  You probably have a colony somewhere in the house if the swarm appeared indoors.  You might want to consider professional assistance.  We believe this is the Pacific Coast Dampwood Termite,
Zootermopsis angusticollis, which you may read about on BugGuide.

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Location: California

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