Typically found inside homes or within outside nests, termites are a troublesome addition to anyone’s home! These pests can cause thousands of damage to homeowners across the country as they burrow through wooden structures.
Termite swarmers are a homeowner’s first indication of problems in their home if they haven’t spotted other visual signs. But, what are these winged insects?
Our blog will tell you everything you need to know about flying termites and give you some tips about how to keep these pests away!
Why are Termites Flying Around?
During the spring and summer, many homeowners spot these pesky insects flying near their homes and yard. Unless you have other signs of an infestation, the termite swarmers can hint toward a nearby infestation.
Whenever the weather warms, many insects become active, and you’ll see an increase in bugs around your yard or inside. While termites are a threat throughout the year, they only fly out during the spring and summer mating seasons.
Once a termite colony has matured and grown, the queen termite produces winged reproductive insects called alates or swarmers.
The name is accurate, too. These pests exit their hidden colonies in droves to find a potential mate and begin a new colony. Check out this video to see a large swarm of flying termites!
Only a portion of the colony has these reproductive capabilities. Like other insect colony-based species, termite workers are typically infertile, while their flying counterparts can reproduce and create new nests.
Do all Termites have Wings?
Termite swarmers are the only termites that have wings and can fly. During mating season, the flying insects meet in the sky to breed with other flying alates.
After mating, male and female termites shed their wings and look for potential areas to infest. If you spot wings littering the outside or inside of your home, there’s a good chance that a newly mated pair of insects are nearby.
Unlike other pests, male termites do not die after mating. They instead inhabit the new colony alongside the immobile queen termite, continually producing new young every day.
Newly born workers and soldier termites lack the additional appendages, spending their lives secluded inside nests or outside your house.
Whenever you spot discarded wings or flying termites, call a reputable pest control agency like proof. pest control to take control of a potentially large infestation!
Termites vs. Flying Ants
If one annoying insect wasn’t enough to handle, you could have to deal with a similar and equally destructive look alike!
All ants have winged reproductive members that exit the colony during mating seasons. Female alates fly out of their nests to find a male to breed with and eventually create a new ant hill nearby.
Most ants are home and yard nuisances, but some species can cause similar damage akin to termites. Carpenter ants infest water-damaged or rotting wood to create their burrowed-out colonies.
These pests won’t eat the wood they build within, so they aren’t as damaging as termites. However, the ants are still a destructive pest to have around. Carving out smooth tunnels in your walls, floors, or door and window frames, carpenter ants can wrack up a hefty repair bill!
Knowing the difference between termite swarmers and flying ants can help you deduce the amount of potential damage and if there is any water damage or rot hidden around your home.
From a distance, reproductive termites may resemble flying ants, but there are visual differences you can watch out for to tell them apart. Termites have similar-sized wings, while an ant’s top wing is much larger than its bottom.
A termite’s antenna points straight out of its head, and ant antennae sharply curve at the base. Their body shape can give you a clue to their difference, too. Unlike ants, termites have a uniform body shape, lacking the tightly cinched waist found on all ant species.
Besides the visual presence of winged termites, some other signs may indicate an insect issue.
Depending on the species, termites have many tell-tale signs to alert you to a problem. Subterranean termites live in your yard, building large colonies underground that connect to your home via small tubes.
These mud tubes are constructed of dirt and feces, or frass. (Read here to learn more about termite frass!) The subterranean termites travel back and forth through these mud tubes to collect food and bring it back to the nest.
Homeowners usually find these tubes along the base of their home’s exterior or inside their walls. Because these tubes aren’t larger than an inch around, it’s easy to miss their winding presence on your wall.
According to the University of Kentucky, disturbing the tubes can help you locate the site of an active infestation. Open up one of the mud tubes, and look for the pale white workers. If you find pests, they’re probably foraging nearby in your home.
Other termite species like the drywood termite live in your home inside the wood they regularly consume. Despite their extended presence indoors, drywood termites don’t cause as much damage as their underground counterparts.
When you have a drywood termite infestation, you can typically spot droppings littering the ground near their nesting sites. To keep their colony and tunneling areas clean, the drywood termites kick small holes in your wall to push out their discarded waste.
Termite frass resembles small pellets that can look like coffee grounds or wood shavings, depending on the color of the wood in your home. Whenever you spot piles of frass, call a pest control expert to inspect for termites.
Eliminating Termites and Termite Swarmers
So, is there an easy way to remove termite swarmers from your home? Unfortunately, without help from a pest control company, it’s often difficult to truly get rid of termites.
Because these pests live in difficult-to-reach spaces, DIY options aren’t the suggested solutions for termites. Whenever you find signs of these pests indoors, the best option is to call proof. pest control for help!
With fourteen branches across seven states, proof. can eliminate any species of termites that invade your home! After our initial pest control inspection, our technicians will provide you with a customized plan targeting the termites in your home or yard.
Contact us today to schedule a treatment or learn more about our services!