Termite swarmers are a special kind of pest that termite colonies produce at certain times of the year. A termite swarmer is an adult termite with wings that heads out into the world to make new colonies of insects. While termite swarmers aren’t destructive to your property, that doesn’t mean they aren’t an issue.
The problem is that when termite swarmers are present, you likely also have other kinds of termites. These are the termites that can cause severe damage to your home. The swarmers don’t stick around but can be an indication of more significant problems. Instead, swarmers will leave your yard to create a new nest.
What Termite Swarmers Are
Termite swarmers gather in hovering clouds of insects and are often mistaken for gnats or other insects. Also called alates, these termites are distinct from others due to having no chewing or biting mouthparts. This means they cannot damage your home.
However, the swarmers do have wings and those are used for a specific reason. Termite swarmers are designed to leave an active termite colony to reproduce and create new nests of insects. These bugs leave to start their own home and create additional termites.
If you discover termite swarmers near your home, they could be creating a home in your home’s foundation, the yard nearby, or other locations. This can lead to damage since many of the termites in the nest will be destructive.
Why Swarming Happens
Swarming is a normal part of life for some termites. It occurs when the colony is full and no more termites can live there. Depending on the species, a colony can have from a few thousand to several million termites.
Termite swarmers come in both male and female varieties and the number created depends on the size of the colony and the species of termite. For instance, in the southeast, Formosan termites might create tens of thousands of swarmers who all leave the home at once to find new areas for nests.
When Does Swarming Occur?
Termite swarmers don’t leave an existing colony at random. Instead, they wait for the right conditions. The colony has to be full and conditions met for the termite swarmers to start flying out of a home or other location. Most of the time, it happens about once a year. It’s often during the spring months in the daytime after a significant amount of rainfall.
After the termite swarmers take off, they find one another and mate. Then, a few weeks later, the insects will build a new nest. The swarming itself typically occurs over a few days with an initial large swarm and then more minor releases of termites.
Is Killing Swarmers the Answer?
Unfortunately, this isn’t going to deal with the underlying issues if your home has termites inside. These swarmers can be annoying if they take flight in your home but aren’t adapted to do any actual harm. Worker termites are insects that bite and chew on wood and create problems for your home.
Killing termite swarmers will eliminate them, but it doesn’t offer protection from other termite activities that could be happening. So the first step you should take is protecting your home from termites with an inspection. If there is an issue, a professional can treat the soil, install a bait system, or use another method to deal with the insects.
How Do Termite Swarmers Get Into Houses?
Termite swarmers are created in existing termite colonies, which means if they are in your home, other termites likely are as well. Therefore, the presence of swarmers might be the only indication you have that termites are nearby.
Unfortunately, termites hideout and are hard to find if you aren’t aware of an infestation. This means that without swarmers, you could have termites for years without realizing it. In that time, many of these bugs can cause significant damage to a home.
Termites use many methods to get into houses. It’s most common in areas where wood and ground come into contacts, such as deck posts, door frames, and porch steps. If these are subterranean termites, they can also get into a home through cracks in the brick mortar or the foundation.
These insects are attracted to wood, moist soil, and moisture. Location plays a part in how likely a home is to experience a termite infestation. Once termites are afoot and the colony becomes large enough, termite swarmers are produced that will attempt to leave your home.
That might sound like a good thing, but only the swarmers leave. Any other termites are left behind and need to be dealt with. Swarmers can also come inside from underground nests. If the insects are primarily outside, they could be living in timber, old tree stumps, or other wooden items. If most of them are inside, your home probably has an infestation.
What To Do After Finding Termite Swarmers
The most important thing to do upon finding termite swarmers is confirming whether your home has termites. Some ants have winged adults and many people will think they look similar to winged termites. A termite specialist can inspect your home and determine whether the problem is termite swarmers or another type of pest.
Choose a Specialist To Help With Termite Swarmers
If you have an infestation of termites, it should be taken care of as quickly as possible. While these pests might appear to be harmless, the truth is the complete opposite. A pest specialist can help you get rid of these insects and protect you from the damage they are capable of doing.
To find the best pest specialists near you, Find a Pest Pro is here to help. We offer trusted providers with experience handling termite swarmers, as well as pests like ants, mice, and stink bugs. Visit our website to learn more. Then, all you have to do is input your zip code to get a list of providers who can help you take back your home.
Click here to read our past blog, 5 Reasons To Reach Out to a Silverfish Pest Control Specialist.