Each termite is born with a specific purpose for the survival of the colony. The primary goal of termite swarmers is to reproduce. They are the winged termites and are also known as alates. At a particular time of the year, the termite swarmers leave their nest and find a new place to reproduce and form a new colony. Swarmers are either male or female with pale brown or grey wings. The nymphs of swarmers are kept near the soil where they are fed and nourished by other colony members.

termite swarmers infestation

When the colony gets matured, ready to expand and weather is favorable. Then hundreds of termite swarmers leave the territory to reproduce and form new colonies. At this stage, the alates do not cause a lot of structural damage but take the termite generation forward. Flying termites are always looking out for new space to form a new colony. So if you see any swarming termite around your house, then consider it as a sign of infestation.

Why Do Termites Swarm?

To understand this phenomenon, we need to take a look at the lifecycle of termites. Termites are social insects, and they live in colonies. The swarmers are the future kings and queens of new termite colonies. When the termite colony is ready to expand, the termite swarm out of the tubes, built by the worker termites. Like any other insects, termites too, are attracted towards the light. Hence, we can often see swarming around window sills and exterior lighting. Different species of termite swarm at different period of time.

why do termites swarm

 

Usually, the alates wait for a day after a heavy shower before they start swarming.

How To Identify Swarming Termites

how to identify termite swarmers

Swarming termites can be mistaken as flying ants. Remember, flying termites have two-segment bodies and two long identically-sized sets of wings. Whereas, flying ants have three-segmented bodies and one small and one large set of wings. Plus, termites have a straight waist, while ants have a pinched waist. Also, termites have straight antennae while ants have bent antennae. If you have seen a flying termite (or a flying ant) in your house, look for the discarded wings near the window sill. Swarmers shed their wings while ants do not.

Treating Swarming Termites

Proper identification is essential before planning an effective treatment strategy. If flying termites have confined themselves outside your house, you have a few options to get rid of them. Treating termites could be two-way (1) Non-chemical treatment (2) Chemical treatment.

Non-Chemical

how to prevent termite swarmers infestation

An example of non-chemical treatment is bug zapper. You may need to invest in a bug zapper and place it near the termites. The mechanism in which the device works is simple. Like any other insects, light attracts termites also. The same principle is followed in a bug zapper. But, ensure, the light inside your house is dim so that the termites don’t get attracted towards it. You may also need to swat them down.

Chemical

An example of chemical treatment is the use of insecticides. You can use insecticide spray to banish them. To eradicate an entire colony, termiticide sprays and baiting systems are often useful. Some examples of chemical treatment of termites are:

how to prevent termite swarmers infestation
  • Wood treatments

  • Termite Baits

  • Applying termiticide to the soil

  • Building material impregnated with termiticide

Conclusion – Prevention

As the age-old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. It has been recorded that termite causes $5 billion worth of property damage every year. Depending on the species type, termites can chew up property through the wood and flooring, 24 / 7. It can compromise the structural stability of a home if left untreated for years. Luckily, there is some prevention that homeowners can take to avoid termite infestation.

how to prevent termite swarmers infestation

Preventive Measures

  • Termites need moisture to thrive. By eliminating moisture in and around your home, you can prevent termite infestation.
  • Ensure to remove any old form boards, grade stakes, etc., left in place after the house was built.
  • If there are any cracks in the masonry, make sure to fill it up.
  • Secure your attic.
  • If you have damaged fascia, exterior AC units or water pipes, get the fixing done immediately.
  • Leaky faucets and water pipes should be fixed too.
  • If you have firewood stored near your house, ensure they are at least 20 feet away. Starve the termites of food.
  • An annual inspection and treatment plan set up with a pest control agency is a good investment idea.
  • Divert all the water away from the house through gutters, downspout, and splash blocks.
  • Make a habit of inspecting around the house for mud tubes, built by termites to carry food. Look out for any bubbling in the paint or any hollow sound on wood when tapped.
  • Check all the exterior windows, doors and skirting borders for any visible changes.
  • Check your decks and fences for damage and repair on time, if needed.
  • Clear off dead vegetation, bush and shrubs surrounding your home.

If you have noticed any warning signs of termite, there is no time to waste. Contact a pest control agency or an expert to treat termites and save your property.