With the arrival of spring, and summer right around the corner, it’s time to be on the lookout for swarming termites. Why do termites swarm, and what does it mean for you? In this article, we’ll dig into a number of questions concerning these swarms and give you all the answers you need to keep your home termite-free.

Why do termites swarm?

Swarming is when groups of termite reproductives fly together in large groups. Termites swarm so that they can mate and start a new colony. However, not all termites swarm. Within the colony, termites are divided into different castes that have different responsibilities: workers, soldiers, and alates. It is only the alates that have wings and will swarm. Alates are the future reproductives of the colony. When male and female alates are sexually mature, they will take part in a nuptial flight, in which they will search for a mate from among the swarms. After finding a mate, the future king and queen will land, discard their wings, and start creating a new colony. This new colony has the potential to grow quickly and can do a lot of damage if allowed to remain untreated.

When do termites swarm?

Along the Sunshine Coast, you will most often see termite swarms in the spring and early summer. The months of November and December are particularly big months for these winged termites, but swarming can also occur other times when the humidity levels are high.

What do swarming termites look like?

Swarming termites are often confused for flying ants, so it is important to know the differences between ants and termites. Termites can come in a range of colors, but most swarmers are brown or tan. Termite alates have thick bodies that do not constrict between the thorax and the abdomen. Termites also have two antennae that are straight and two sets of wings that are equal in length. In comparison, flying ants have a narrow pinched waist, elbowed antennae, and two sets of wings of unequal size, with the front pair being larger than the hind pair.

 

swarming termite

Termite alate By Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE [CC BY-SA 2.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

How can I reduce the risk of getting termites?

Since the presence of termite swarmers in the area indicates a nest is close by, it should be a wake up call that you need to make efforts to prevent them from coming onto your property. There are a few things that can be done to reduce the chances of getting termites.

  • Prevent standing water and damp wood by ensuring proper drainage around your property. Do this by inspecting and then repairing drains, gutters, and downspouts if necessary.
  • Make sure that basements and attics are properly ventilated so they do not build up moisture.
  • Keep mulch away from the foundation of your home and remove any decaying wood from the property.
  • Schedule regular termite inspections to ensure that any problems are taken care of as quickly as possible.

 

Swarming termites and piles of discarded termite wings are sure signs of termites nearby. Take the necessary precautions and then contact a professional if you are worried you might have a termite problem. The experts at Radar Pest Control are ready to tackle any pest problem you might have. Our knowledgeable technicians will come to your home and perform a full inspection. If we find termites, there is much that can be done to get rid of them including: barriers, baiting, and sprays. Radar Pest Control is your go-to source for Sunshine Coast termite control.