University of Maryland Extension: Garden Q&A
Q: Hundreds of these insects [photo sent through HGIC website “Send a Question”] have appeared on our front porch for several days every year. Can you determine if they are ants or termites? I do not see any damage to the house.
A: These are winged swarming termites. Flying ants are easy to identify by their tiny pinched (almost non-existent) waist, uneven-length wings of a brownish color, and sharply bent antenna.
Your termites, in contrast, have no noticeable waist, transparent wings of all the same length, and unbent antenna.
To view color photos of ants vs. termites, go to our website Plant Diagnostics: http://plantdiagnostics.umd.edu/level3.cfm. Also read our short termite publications.
Always remember: termites eat very slowly. Never rush into choosing a pest control company. Get several opinions before you decide. In your case, it’s definitely time to begin the process.
Photo courtesy of University of Maryland Extension
Q: Please recommend foundation plants (18-25”) for baking afternoon sun. Also small flowering trees to replace a Bradford pear provided by the builder.
A: Low-growing evergreen shrubs for full sun include lowgrowing junipers, dwarf nandina, and dwarf conifers. Read the tag carefully to determine the ultimate height.
The problematic and invasive Bradford pear can be replaced with Washington hawthorn (variety 'Winter King'), crape myrtle, deciduous magnolias such as saucer magnolia, sourwood (a striking native), Eastern redbud, flowering cherry and Japanese snowbell.