Swarming termites are winged termites that leave their nest due to overcrowding and lack of food.
Swarming termites can be a sign they are leaving a nest in or near your home (termite infestation). Or they are in search of fresh wood to nest in. You are best to get a pest inspection to determine if indeed you have an infestation.
Termites are hard to detect before they swarm. By this time, they may have caused considerable damage to the wood or furniture in your home.
Suitable Conditions For A Termite Swarm
A termite swarm is often seasonal and takes place at the beginning of spring. You can see termite swarms on a hot day after a slight shower of rain.
The soft soil and abundant sunlight attract the termites to the ground and provide ideal mating conditions.
However, several swarmers will die from environmental conditions and other hazards such as being eaten by birds.
Also, termites swarm when it is windy. They cannot fly long distances. The wind carries them to locations where they can start new colonies with ease.
What To Do When You See A Swarm
When you see a termite swarm, the first thing is to identify it correctly. Swarming termites may look like flying ants. Identify swarming termites by their four equal-sized wings, straight antennae, and straight bodies, unlike the pinched bodies of ants.
A termite swarm happens in about 30 minutes. If it happens in your home, you need to act fast to prevent the termites from forming a colony in your house.
Here is what to do when you see a swarm.
- Call professional exterminators.
- Collect a few termites to show the pest exterminators.
- Don’t panic.
- Don’t seal exit holes.
- Don’t let them spread.
- Vacuum the termites and seal the vacuum bag.
Check For Infestation
When the swarm in your house ends, contact a professional exterminator.
Show them the sample of swarmers you collected and allow them to inspect your home for a termite infestation.
If the swarm is outside your house, professional exterminators will inspect your home to confirm the presence of termite colonies.
Types Of Termites
Here are the different types of termites that you may find swarming.
Subterranean termites. Swarm in the spring and large numbers. They live in the ground and possibly come from the foundation if they swarm in the house.
Drywood termites swarm in small numbers and are smaller in size than subterranean termites. They swarm in late summer and early fall. They live in the wood within your house and damage it.
Dampwood termites survive in wood with high moisture content. You will rarely find them infesting a house. You can find them on utility poles near your home. They swarm in the summer.
How To Prevent Termite Damage
- Eliminate Moisture
- Keep wood away from the soil
- Use termite repellant
- Regular repair
- Separate infested furniture
- Avoid plants near the home
- Turn off outdoor lights
Termites thrive in humid areas. Getting rid of sources of moisture in your home will help prevent termite infestation.
Fix water leaks and drain stagnant water around your home. You can also use a dehumidifier or turn on the fan to cool your home and eliminate moisture from the air.
Remove all the items in your house that are unused. Discard old magazines and newspapers as termites can live in them. Replace old cardboard as they provide a breeding ground for termites.
With less clutter in your home, you can monitor and prevent pest infestation.
Keep Wood Away From The Soil
If your home has wood on the lower parts or as part of the foundation, make sure it does not touch the soil. Let there be a 6-12 inches gap between the ground and the wood. Only the concrete part of the foundation should touch the ground.
If you use firewood, do not stack it anywhere near your house. Keep it at least 20 feet away. Also, keep the firewood on a raised platform. Additionally, do not store firewood in your crawlspace.
Use Termite Repellant
Spray termite repellant on the wood you use to build your home. It is an effective method to keep termites away from wood. You can also use the repellant on your wooden fence.
Inspect, replace or repair any broken parts of your home regularly. Repair broken roof shingles as they provide perfect hiding spots for termites and other pests. Fix leaking faucets, fascia, water pipes, and soffits.
Inspect your home as regularly as possible to look for termite mud homes and get rid of them.
Separate Infested Furniture
Separate infested furniture. Set it in the sun for at least three days. Termites cannot withstand sunlight and will leave the infested furniture.
Keep Plants Away From Your Home
Plants provide ideal conditions and pathways to the house for termites. They also make it hard for you to spot a termite infestation. Therefore, trim all shrubs and cut the grass near your home.
Turn Off Outdoor Lights
Swarming termites go towards the light. If you notice a swarm of termites at night, switch off your outdoor lights. It will keep the swarming termites away from your house and windows. Also, seal any holes and gaps in your windows.
How To Treat Termite Infestations
Besides prevention, there are no easy solutions to termite infestations. You need to hire a professional pest exterminator for a termite infestation.
They will inspect your home and assess the level of infestation to determine the best way to treat it.
There are two types of termite treatment:
- Liquid treatment – It removes moisture from the soil around a building. It prevents termites from building their colony near your house. Any termites existing in the structure will leave as they cannot get moisture from the treated soil.
- Bait treatment – It is a cellulose-based termite food product with insecticide added. When worker termites collect the bait on the ground, they take it back to their colony. It kills the colony, which shares the food collected by worker termites.
- DIY – Vinegar is a popular DIY treatment as the acid levels in vinegar kill termites. However, if you have a full infestation, I would not skimp on getting a pro to do the job.
How To Hire A Professional Pest Exterminator
Gotreequotes.com is a free tool that connects homeowners to professional pest exterminators when you have a termite infestation.
It is easy to use.
At the top, enter your zip code.
Then fill out the form to provide more information on the required services and submit it. You will then receive three quotes from exterminators near you.
Termites swarm when the weather begins to warm. Often, a termite swarm occurs at the beginning of summer and spring. It also happens after light showers of rain when the soil is moist and easy to bore through.
Since termites swarm to establish new colonies, they need moist soil to build a new home underground.
Swarming termites do not cause damage to your home. However, experiencing a swarm in your home is a frightening experience. Swarmers leave the colony attracted by light to the ground. They get to the floor of your home through holes that are bored by worker termites.
Swarming termites do not have a mouth to bore through the wood. They swarm to mate and start new colonies.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, termites cause damage worth $40 billion in over 600,000 homes in the US annually. A termite infestation destroys your home and dents your wallet. You have to pay for the extermination and replacement of furniture and wood in the home structure.
Termites do not fly. When colonies get overcrowded, they produce winged male and female termites. These termites leave through a swarm to mate and create new termite colonies. Only a few of the swarming termites survive to start their colonies. When the termite swarm is complete, they shed their wings and start afresh in their new termite colonies.