What You Need To Know About Termite Swarms

As the warm weather of spring and summer quickly approaches, so do many of the flying insects that have been dormant all winter long. One of these that can be really concerning is termite swarms. When you encounter a termite swarm, you will feel like they are everywhere. But if you are not careful, they could become an infestation in and around your home that needs immediate treatment. What is a termite swarm, what does it look like, and what do you need to do? Here are a few answers to your questions.

What Is a Termite Swarm?

Termite swarms are composed of many termites concentrated in one area in the air. You may also see many termites or termite wings on the ground, especially under and around outside light sources. The swarmers may be in a concentrated cloud or a steady stream. These swarms are genetic and take place among most species of termites.

When a termite colony reaches a certain capacity, the nest produces swarmers, or alates, whose sole job is expanding and reproducing the colony. The alates, which are both male and female, live near the surface of the nest and are often darker in color than the other workers in the community. They will remain there until the time is right to launch themselves into the air and take off for unknown destinations. 

Once in the air, the alates pair off, shed their wings, mate, and attempt to find a new location to start a new colony. If there are numerous termite colonies in the same vicinity, alates may intermingle, but if not, they will mate with alates from their own colony. A swarm may be the first sign that you need termite control treatment.

When Do Termite Swarms Take Place?

While most termites swarm during warm seasons when they are more likely to be above ground, different species swarm at other times. For example, various subterranean species often swarm in the spring during the day. 

Many swarms happen following a rain shower. The activity is thought to take place then due to the ground being more susceptible to nest building of the newly mated pair.

What Do You Need To Do?

Unfortunately, swarms do not always stay outdoors. Swarming termites can enter your home through open windows or doors, although most who enter will die. Call your local pest control company if you see swarms in or around your home. Ask for an inspection and invest in professional termite control if needed. 

For more information, contact a local company, like Rice's Termite and Pest Control Services.