Termites are destructive insects that can be found all across the world. While there are over 2,700 species of termites on the planet, only about 50 termite species are known to exist in the United States. While different termite species prefer different habitats or food sources, one thing all termite colonies have in common is that they all produce swarmers when the colony becomes overpopulated and it’s time to expand.
If you’ve started noticing alates (swarmers) or discarded wings in or around your home, it could be a sign of a serious infestation. Read on to learn more about termite swarmers, how to identify them, and what you can do to remove them from your home.
What Are Termite Swarmers?
Also known as “reproductives,” termite swarmers are winged adult termites whose sole purpose is to seek out a suitable location to create a new colony. After mating, termite swarmers discard their wings, often leaving them in piles.
Seeing termite swarmers or their discarded wings on the premises is a common sign of an ongoing termite infestation and should be addressed right away.
What Do Termite Swarms Look Like?
The most noticeable aspect of a termite swarm is the long, thin wings attached to the abdomens of the termites. At first glance, termite swarmers may be mistaken for flying ants or other winged insects. A termite swarm will typically consist of up to 100 alates tightly grouped in one area. If termite swarms emerge from inside your home, they tend to gravitate toward the nearest light source.
It’s important to note that although termite swarmers have wings, they’re unable to fly long distances. After mating, the wings of swarmers will fall off, and the termites will disperse.
Where Do Swarmers Come From?
Swarmers are essentially the reproductive members of a termite colony. Once these termites reach maturity, they produce wings and leave their current colony to mate. The termite swarming season is typically around spring time but you can find flying termites any time of year.
Finding reproductive termites on your property indicates an active termite infestation in the area. Likewise, discovering alates or their discarded wings inside your home likely means there’s a termite colony somewhere within the walls or floorboards.
How to Get Rid of Termite Swarmers
If you discover termite swarmers inside the home, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove them. It’s also possible to use insecticide on a termite swarmer to stop from mating and the spread of new colonies.
With that said, it’s best to contact an experienced termite control technician to investigate any winged termites. Professional exterminators have many different tools at their disposal to target termite colonies and will know the best strategy for getting rid of them for good.
Swarmers Aren’t the Only Issue
Remember, swarming termites only represent a small aspect of a termite colony’s life cycle, and simply killing the alates won’t stop the active infestation you’re experiencing. Given time, a new group of swarmers will emerge from the colony, and the cycle will start again. The queens of termite colonies can live for a decade or more, and until the colony itself is destroyed, the infestation will continue.
Also, bear in mind that while swarmers can be annoying, they don’t have the strength to chew wood or damage your home. The real damage takes place unseen inside the walls of your home, where the worker termites can quietly go on collecting food from wood, cellulose, and other materials.
Call a Professional
Seeing swarmers is a good indication that there has been an active termite colony in or around your home for quite some time. Since it’s not always easy to locate the source of the infestation, it’s best to contact a pest control professional for help sooner than later. Remember, the longer you wait to contact pest control, the more property damage termites will be able to cause.
Budget Brothers Get Rid of Termite Swarmers
If you’re wondering how to get rid of termite swarmers but aren’t sure what to do, don’t get discouraged. Our team at Budget Brothers Termite & Pest has years of experience removing termite swarmers and their colonies from the homes of our valued clients throughout the Phoenix Valley.
If you suspect you may have a termite problem but aren’t quite sure, our team of experts can also conduct a thorough termite inspection of your property to determine the extent of the infestation. When you’re ready to put a stop to termites on your property, contact us to receive your free estimate, and our team will quickly resolve your problem.