Termites offer environmental benefits but can devastate your home’s structural integrity. These pests can often cause damage before the homeowner realizes they have an infestation, and you could spend thousands of dollars on repairs if they invade your property. Termite Swarmers are a species homeowners must watch out for. Look for signs of the insects before they can cause an infestation, leading to severe property damage. Here is everything you need to know about what to do if you see termite swarmers.

What to Do if You See Termite Swarmers?

What Are Termite Swarmers?

Termite swarmers, also known as alates, are the reproductive members of termite colonies. These winged insects emerge from mature colonies typically during the spring when environmental conditions are favorable for establishing new colonies.

Termite swarmers are often mistaken for flying ants due to their similar appearance, but there are distinct differences between the two. Understanding these differences is crucial for identifying and addressing a potential termite infestation.

How to Identify Termite Swarmers vs Flying Ants

Differentiating between termite swarmers and flying ants is essential for effective pest management. While both insects have wings and a similar body shape, there are key characteristics that distinguish termite swarmers:

  • Body Shape: Termite swarmers have a straight, bead-like waist while flying ants have a pinched waist.
  • Antennae Length: Termite swarmers have straight antennae, whereas flying ants have elbowed or bent antennae.
  • Wing Size: Termite swarmers have equal-sized wings while flying ants have wings of different sizes.

Common termite swarmers include:

  • Subterranean Termite Swarmers
  • Drywood Termite Swarmers
  • Dampwood Termite Swarmers

Understanding Termite Swarmer Behavior

The termite lifecycle involves swarming when they outgrow the colony and need to expand from the current location. Termite swarms include thousands of males and females, depending on the colony’s size.

The most common times to see swarms are on warm spring days with low wind and usually after rainfall. The swarming season usually only happens once annually, during the spring or early summer.

However, some colonies may swarm in the last summer to early fall, depending on size and growth during the summer. Some species of termites prefer swarming during the day, and others only take flight at dusk.

The average swarm lasts 30 to 40 minutes, and many homeowners might not be outside to see this termite activity. As a result, the termites land and look for a new home.

Signs of Swarmer Termite Infestations

Seeing swarmer termites on your property is concerning, but it does not guarantee that your home is dealing with an active termite problem. However, it is an indication that a termite colony is close by. A new swarmer termite colony takes time to grow and establish. Most need five years for the colony to reach a size large enough to create a swarm.

Swarmer termites enter the home through exterior cracks or air vents and feed on wood and cellulose. Here’s what to look for if you’re concerned about termites landing and colonizing your property.

  • Dropped Wings – Look for discarded termite wings in doorways, windowsills, or other areas.
  • Damage – You might mistake termite infestation and damage for water damage. The difference is that termite damage will cause holes in the wood.
  • Frass – If you see a substrate that resembles sawdust around your home, it’s a sign of termite excrement.
  • Hollow Structures – Tap baseboards and windowsills. If they sound hollow, it’s a sign of termite infestation as they eat through the wood.
  • Tunnel Systems – These tunnels are a sign of termite movement and are made of a combination of saliva, wood, and mud. The worker termites are responsible for this.

How to Deal with Swarming Termite Infestations

Homeowners must take a proactive approach to assessing the property for termite infestations during the summer. Failing to check your home for signs of termites means the insects have time to infest and start a colony.

  • Inspect the interior and exterior of your home when searching for termite infestations.
  • Look in holes or cracks for dropped wings, and vacuum up termites you see wandering around your property. After sealing the vacuum bag, discard it in the trash.
  • If you see signs of termite infestation on your property but can’t find the source, call a professional exterminator for assistance with finding the colony.
  • Avoid removing or opening walls, as effective removal of the insects relies on sustaining your home’s structural integrity.
  • If you find termites wandering around, don’t spray the swarmers. Watch where they walk, and they’ll lead you to the colony.

The longer you wait before calling an extermination professional, the greater the damage risk to your home.

Call a Termite Control Professional if You Spot Termite Swarmers

Spotting swarmer termites near or around your home indicates a colony is nearby. The mature termites could be anywhere; don’t assume they aren’t already inside your home. Swarms signal a severe infestation near or on your property, and the colony might migrate inside your home.

Contact a local termite control expert for assistance with identifying and removing the colony. Take termite control measures as soon as possible to avoid extensive damage to your property.

Additional Reading: When is the Best Time for Termite Treatment?

Hire a Professional – ABC Termite & Pest Control Company – Omaha & Lincoln

Find a reputable pest control company in Omaha or Lincoln that you TRUST and ask about their termite inspection and pest management services. You may think you are saving money however, a single misapplication could have significant and adverse or deadly consequences for you or your loved ones. Contact ABC Termite & Pest Control in Omaha & Lincoln, NE to talk with an exterminator today!

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