When a termite colony reaches a certain size and maturity, it expands by producing winged reproductives known as alates. Swarming is a natural occurrence, and it allows the termites to pair up and start new colonies.
When you spot flying termites, it’s tempting to reach for the can of insect spray. But that would be a mistake.
Termite infestations can be devastating to homes and businesses, costing $5 billion in damage per year in the United States alone. This is more than the cost of all natural disasters. While it is hard to prevent termites, there are a number of signs that can alert property owners when the pests are on their way. These include mud tubes on or near a building, damaged wood that sounds hollow when tapped, and discarded wings near windowsills.
During a termite swarm, winged reproductive members called alates emerge from a parent colony and fly into the air looking for mates. The swarmers do not bite or sting, and they do not eat the wood they are flying over. They are a sign that a termite colony is maturing and ready to expand.
Once alates find a mate, they shed their wings and settle into a new location to establish a new colony. They also begin to produce worker termites that will help with the colony’s survival and reproduction.
It may take years before a termite colony produces swarmers. However, favorable environmental conditions can trigger a swarm earlier. Once the swarmers settle, they will search for a suitable area to build a nest and begin laying eggs.
Swarming is a sign of a mature termite infestation, but identifying the infestation can be difficult. Swarmers are small and resemble flying ants, making them easy to mistake for other insects. To identify termites, homeowners should look for discarded wing debris near windowsills and doors. Wings scattered around the sills are a sure sign that termites have recently swarmed.
Another indication of a termite infestation is damaged wood that appears warped or blistered. Other signs of termite activity include a hollow sound when tapping wood surfaces, mud tubes, and evidence of tunneling underneath the surface of the ground.
Drywood termites are easier to detect than subterranean termites, since they nest in wood aboveground instead of underground. They swarm during the evening and do not leave mud tubes or require contact with the soil. The swarmers are small and brown, with two pairs of wings that lie flat when not in use. The front set of wings are larger than the back pair, and they have a translucent appearance.
Winged termites, also known as alates, are reproductive members of a termite colony that swarm in search of mates and a new home. Alates are the winged males and females that emerge from a colony during certain seasons and fly away in mating flights. Once they have paired, they shed their wings and begin a new colony. Termite swarmers are usually found around windows and doors, tree stumps, and cracks and holes in the foundation of a building.
Spotting flying termites is a good sign that there’s a large, active termite infestation near your property. You should also look for mud tubes and other signs of termite activity, such as hollow or damaged wood. You might even notice mud-like dirt in the corners of your house, such as around doorjambs and window frames. These are remnants of the mud tubes that swarmers use to travel between their underground nest and the surface of your home or business.
The wings of a termite swarmer are easily mistaken for those of a flying ant. Both insects have two large pairs of wings, but there are a few key differences between them. For one, a termite has a broad waistline, while ants have a pinched waistline. In addition, swarmers have distinct heads and bodies.
Termite swarmers aren’t dangerous, and the fact that they’re flying doesn’t mean that they will attack your home. However, they are a sign that your home may have an infestation and should be inspected by a professional.
A swarm of termites is most likely to occur during warm weather, especially on days after rainstorms. This is because the swarmers are looking for moisture and a new home. Termites swarm most often in spring, but it can happen at any time of the year.
Termite swarmers are winged males and females that emerge in a mass from a mature termite colony. They have long antennae, and their wings are pale yellow to brownish in color. They’re able to fly short distances and have well-developed compound eyes. After a short flight, they’ll drop their wings and find a new home.
Termite nests are usually underground but some species can build above-ground mounds. These are built from a mixture of soil, wood debris and saliva and are often found in tropical climates. These mounds can reach incredible heights; some have been recorded as tall as six meters. Termites use these structures to access wood they consume. Termite mounds are also known as mud tubes. If you see mud tubes on your property, you probably have a termite infestation.
During the mating season, all members of the reproductive caste of termites develop wings and fly. This is called swarming and signals that the colony is ready to create new colonies. Swarming also means that the king and queen of the existing colony are ready to start a new one.
Winged termites are referred to as alates and can be recognized by their uniform pale color. Unlike ants, which have a set of large wings and a set of smaller wings, the wings of termites are all the same size. When alates are attracted to a potential mate, they release a pheromone. Male alates will then flock to the pheromone, seeking a female. Once a pair successfully mates, they will lose their wings and become the proper king and queen of the new colony.
While swarming termites are a sign of an infestation, they do not bite or sting. However, the appearance of swarming termites should alert homeowners to a serious problem and prompt them to seek professional help.
Aside from swarming, other signs of termite infestation include mud tubes and damage to wood. Termites can chew through all types of wood, including framing lumber and flooring. However, they prefer to eat softwoods such as larch and pine.
Unlike ants, termites have straight antennae that are beaded rather than elbowed. The body of a termite is also different from the body of an ant. The main difference is that a termite’s head is larger than its abdomen. In addition, a termite’s wings are translucent and a bit more veiny than those of an ant.
Termites are not harmful to humans and do not sting or bite. However, they can cause significant structural damage to buildings and structures. The best way to prevent a termite infestation is to avoid stacks of firewood and rotting logs near your home. It is also important to keep dead trees and stumps away from your house. In addition, you should remove foam boards and grade stakes used in construction projects.
When a homeowner sees wings in their home, it can be a distressing sight. But, before you reach for the can of fly spray, you should take a few steps to make sure that these wings are not a sign of a termite infestation. It is important to distinguish between flying termites and other bugs that look similar, such as ants or mayflies. While these insects also swarm, they do not behave the same way as termites.
When termites swarm, they are searching for mates and starting new colonies. These winged termites are known as alates and are the reproductive caste of a termite colony. They are typically found in areas where a termite colony has already been established, such as attics, wooden furniture, windowsills and door frames, or studs within walls. It takes a termite colony three to five years to mature enough to produce alates.
Once these alates mate, they will lose their wings and become worker or soldier termites. While a swarm of termites can be scary, it is important to remember that the swarmers are not dangerous and will not attack you. However, it is still a good idea to be vigilant about your property and to contact a professional pest control company as soon as you spot any signs of a termite problem.
Termite swarmers are attracted to light and often leave their wings around light fixtures or on window sills. These discarded wings are one of the most reliable signs that a termite infestation has occurred. It is also a good idea to look for mud tubes around vulnerable areas, such as a home’s foundation or roof.
While swarming, termites can be confused with ants and may even enter your home if there is an ant infestation present. The easiest way to tell the difference between a termite and an ant is by looking at their antennae. Termites have antennae that are straight from beginning to end, while ants have an elbow shape. Knowing the difference between a termite and ant can save homeowners time, money and peace of mind.