Spring rains and warm, but not hot, temperatures make conditions ripe for termites to swarm. When a termite colony becomes mature it will produce winged reproductive termites (swarmer’s).
Swarmer’s can be one of the first signs of termite activity in an area. Swarmer’s may be your first clue that you have a termite problem. Swarming termites can be found both inside and outside of your home. They can be seen coming out of walls, baseboards, door frames and porch columns through small exit holes made by the worker termites. Homeowners usually find evidence of swarming termites in windowsills or where there is a source of light. If the swarmer’s cannot get to soil, dehydration will kill them after a few hours.
Swarming termites are charcoal black in color with four equal sized opaque wings, straight antennas and a thick, straight waist. Ants also swarm and can be charcoal black in color but their antennas are elbowed, and they have a small, pinched waist. Ants have two shorter wings tucked under two longer wings. Ants swarm throughout the year and termites mainly swarm in the spring and fall of the year.
Subterranean termites live mostly underground in colonies and are present in the soil year round. There are 3 primary castes associated with termites.
Workers: small, creamy white insects that are about ? inch in length. They are responsible for feeding the colony via regurgitation of digested cellulose materials. These are the ones that do the damage to your home.
Soldiers: The Soldiers have larger heads and mandibles and their job is to protect the colony from enemies, such as other insects.
Reproductives: Reproductive termites are made up of the Queen and King, which are the main reproductive individuals in the colony.
Termites cause over one billion dollars each year in damage and controlling methods. The sooner termite activity is detected, the better your chances are at minimizing the damage.
If you suspect you might have termites or find evidence of swarming termites don’t panic. Save a small group of the swarmer’s in a container or baggy and please give us a call and we can identify the insect and evaluate your situation and offer the best solution to your termite problems.