It’s Termite Season, Do You Have Swarmers?

Time to Get Your Swarm On… NOT!

Termite Swarmer on white background
Does Your Home Have Termite Swarmers?

Spring in New England: the perfect time for barbecues, picnics, swimming, and… swarming termites? Unfortunately yes, the warmer spring to summer months are ideal for termite activity and infestations. But why do some termites fly, while others don’t even have wings? Are both types of termites harmful to your home? What should you do if you see a horde of these winged termite minions, aka termite swarmers?

 

Termite Swarmers

Termites spend most of their lives away from humans, hidden inside wooden structures or underground. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs of an infestation, as they can cause damage to your home over a long period of time without being noticed. One of the only times you’ll see visible evidence of a termite infestation (without having to look for them)  is during their breeding swarm season.

 

When Do Termites Swarm?

A termite colony is usually made up of a primary king and queen, soldiers, workers, nymphs, and immature kings and queens, known as alates. These alates generally have a straight, thick-waisted body and elongated wings.When a colony is mature, the alates will fly from the original nest so they can mate (their nuptial flight) and establish new colonies.

When warm temperatures and high humidity occur, it can trigger the natural instinct of the alates to start a colony of their own. They’ll fly en masse from the original colony in search of mating partners, creating a termite swarm. After they’ve finished mating, they tend to shed or bite off their wings.

Termite Swarmers infesting basement wall
Remnants of a Termite Swarm

Does Killing The Termite Swarmers Solve the Problem?

Unfortunately not. It’s the worker termites that consume wood, and they actually feed the swarmers with regurgitated wood. So, killing the visible swarmers won’t stop the damage being done to your home, because the worker termites are still present!

 

What Should You Do if You Have a Termite Swarm

First, know the difference between a swarm of flying ants and a swarm of termites. These two pests are very similar in appearance, but require vastly different courses of treatment. Seeing a termite swarm on your property is a good indication that you have an infestation or will have one soon.

If you see a swarm in your yard, it doesn’t mean the colony is far enough away to be harmless. Termites can tunnel underground for extremely long distances, so they could still get into your home. If you see swarmers indoors, they’ll likely be gathered around a light fixture or windowsill. They move towards light, looking for a way out of your home and hoping to start their new colony.

 

When you see swarmers, your best bet is to call your local pest professionals, as they have the knowledge and resources to deal with an infestation. As always, feel free to give Graduate a call if you want us to stop the swarmers.

 

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