Termites are one of the most destructive pests that can invade homes and property. They feed on wood and other building components, causing significant damage.
During certain stages of their life cycle, termites may develop wings and fly away from the colony to seek out a mate and start a new one elsewhere. These winged reproductive termites are called alates and are an important part of the termite colony’s reproduction process.
Reproductive termites, also called alates or swarmers (Figure 3), usually emerge from a mature colony during certain seasons of the year and fly away in search of a new habitat to start a new colony. Once in their new home, the reproductive termites will become kings and queens of the colony and they can live up to 10 years, while the workers and soldiers only live about a year or so.
These reproductive termites are responsible for mating, laying eggs, and helping to establish a new colony. They are also the only members of a colony that can mate repeatedly over time.
Termite colonies are caste systems, with the colony members divided into three different castes: the reproductive, soldier, and worker. Each caste has a unique function and role in the colony.
The primary reproductives, or king and queen termites, are the most important of these colony members. They are also the only termites that mate repeatedly over time and spend most of their lives outside of the colony in flight, which allows them to develop hardened bodies with large compound eyes.
They are also the only termites that can fend off predators and weather extreme temperature changes, something that is necessary for survival. These termites are not as powerful as ants or bees, but they do play a major role in maintaining termite colonies.
In addition to the queen, there are secondary and tertiary reproductives in some well-established colonies. These reproductive termites are derived from nymphs, but they do not have fully developed wings.
While the primary queen is responsible for the majority of the termite colony’s egg-laying, secondary and tertiary reproductives may lay as many or more eggs than the queen in a given year. This can help to maintain the population, if the main reproductive queen dies.
Reproductive termites are important to homeowners because they shed their wings when they mate and these wings can be found on windows sills and other openings around a home. This is why it’s a good idea to check for them when you’re doing a routine inspection of your property.
Termites send out winged adults during their reproductive cycle to find a mate and start new colonies. These are known as swarmers and may be the first thing you notice when you suspect a termite infestation.
Swarming occurs naturally during the spring. During this time, swarmers will fly a short distance to seek out a new place to mate and reproduce. They will then break off their wings and burrow into soil to find a suitable location to build a new nest.
Once the swarmers land, they will be joined by other termites and their young. This is why you may see termite swarmers collecting around windows and sliding glass doors when they are swarming.
Most swarming termites are not very good fliers, and they usually only fly about half a mile away from their home. Once they land, they shed their wings and will never fly again. If they do not find soil to eat, they will die quickly from dehydration.
Some swarmers will die right away, but others will linger for days and weeks until they are able to find a place to begin a new colony. This is why it is important to look for swarmers when you think you have termites, so that you can call an exterminator before the swarmers begin to eat and damage your property.
Termite swarmers are a serious pest that is responsible for billions of dollars worth of property damage. They are extremely hard to remove, so it is important to take steps to prevent them from entering your home.
The best way to detect a swarm of termites is to inspect your property carefully and listen for the buzzing noises that they make when active. You can also check for mud tubes and small cracks in your walls that can let rainwater enter your home.
It is very common for termites to swarm in the spring, so you should be prepared for this activity to happen on your property. Swarmers can be found anywhere termites are likely to find a place to reproduce, including underneath your foundation, near basement windows, and around porches.
Termites are pests that can damage your home’s structural integrity and destroy the value of your property. Termites can invade your home when they find a food source that is not properly protected or maintained, a termite colony has been established, or if they are attracted to damp or moist conditions.
Often confused with ants, termites can be identified by their straight antennae and thick waists, as well as four equal-length wings (if they have them). They typically burrow into wood to feed on cellulose, which is the primary component of the natural structure of most trees.
When termites feel there is enough food and moisture to satisfy their needs, they start to breed. The queen termite, or king, will start to produce offspring, called nymphs, and the colony will gradually expand.
After a couple of years, the nymphs will grow into workers and soldier termites. They then begin to consume the cellulose within the wood, which results in mud tubes, tunnels and other signs of a termite infestation.
In some regions, male and female swarmers can emerge from termite nests to start new colonies. They release a termite chemical, called pheromones, that attracts other termites to them, and once they locate their match, they break off their wings and become a swarm.
The swarmer termites then take flight to start a new colony in another location. These swarms, or nuptial flights, are usually seen in the springtime. They can occur at dusk or in the morning, depending on the wind speed and other environmental factors.
Once the swarmers have located a new site to start their colony, they break off their wings and burrow in the soil. They then create a termite colony that will survive for years to come.
If you see a swarm of flying termites in your home, it’s important to call a pest control professional right away. If you don’t, it could be several months or more before the swarmers can reproduce and a new colony is formed.
Termite swarms are a major warning sign that termites have invaded your home and can cause extensive and costly damage. They are usually seen in areas such as the attic, windowsills and door frames, baseboards and wooden building components.
Termites are destructive pests that often lurk unnoticed, feeding on decaying wood and causing thousands of dollars in damage without you realizing it. But with the right termite control, you can keep your home in tip-top shape.
Fortunately, a termite professional can help you determine which type of termites are living in your home and provide a plan to destroy them. They can also help you prevent these insects from invading in the first place.
Inspecting your house regularly is the best way to detect termite activity before it spreads and causes serious damage. Look for signs of infestation like mud tubes, swarmers inside your home, and gnaw marks or chewed-up wood fixtures.
If you have a termite problem, your contractor will recommend either liquid or bait termiticides to eliminate the termites. Alternatively, you can use heat treatment or fumigation to kill termites and their nests.
The most effective and economical method for controlling termites is to install a barrier. These are termiticide-treated stations that are buried along the perimeter of your home. These stations protect your property from termites and other wood-destroying insects for up to a year.
Another option is to seal up any gaps or cracks that could allow termites into your home. This is especially important if you have wood stacked against your foundation or walls.
Termites need moisture to thrive, so be sure your property is free of excess water. This includes the basement, crawl space, and roof. You should also check for leaks in your roofing system and gutters. If you see any leaks, call a professional immediately to repair the problem.
When looking for a termite control company, be sure to choose one that is licensed in your state. You can do this by calling your state pesticide regulatory agency or checking online for a list of licensed firms in your area.
While there are many things you can do to help prevent termites, it’s a good idea to be proactive and have your home treated for them before they become an issue. That way, you’ll be able to lock them out of your house and keep them from causing significant damage in the future.