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A swarm is a large number of insects or small organisms that are in motion. They can either crawl or fly. There are a lot of insects that are associated with swarming. Killer bees can swarm to aggressively attack invaders. This can be painful. But the most alarming are swarming termites. Let us find more about these insects and why are they distressing.
What are Swarming Termites?
Termites are tiny insects that form a colony. These insects belong to a caste system wherein they distribute their duties. A colony has two main reproductives, the king and the queen termites. These reproductives are responsible for their reproduction. The queen termite approximately lays a thousand eggs per day. Young termites that hatch from an egg are called nymphs. As they grow, they will become part of the caste system as a supplementary reproductive, worker, soldier, and reproductive nymph. Reproductive nymphs will become the swarming termites on the latter. They are also called alates.
Why are there Swarming Termites?
Termite colonies can live for a number of years in a certain spot until they are susceptible to food shortage. They reproduce swarming termites to look for new places nearby and start a new colony. Swarming termites are not produced directly. According to research, a termite colony can produce swarming termites in as fast as four years.
When do they Swarm?
Termite swarms do not occur every day. They occur at a certain day of the year and it does vary for different termite species. The swarming season for subterranean termites is during spring to fall. They usually swarm after rain. Eastern subterranean termites swarm from February to April during the daytime. However, Formosan species prefer warm evenings. They swarm after sundown and before midnight.
What Do Termite Swarms Indicate?
A termite swarm is a clear indication that there is a termite colony within your area. They might be at your neighbor’s house, in your backyard or inside your house. They can’t be too far away because termite swarms can only fly short distances; about 600 – 900 feet. Termites in your backyard are mostly found near food sources such as trees, shrubs, wood landscapes, and the likes. They are found beneath the ground. If termites are coming from your house, termite infestation has most likely been occurring for years.
If you have been experiencing frequent termite swarms for a number of years but there are no clear signs of infestations, it could be for a number of reasons:
- Your house might be well-treated. They are still finding a way to penetrate your house through weak entry points.
- Food source might not be able in your house. Your woods might be well-treated with safety chemicals.
- You might have a good barrier underground which forbids their entry back and forth.
What Do They Do After the Swarm?
There are hundreds of termites in a single swarm and only a few of them survive to start a new colony. After they have found an adequate location, they shed their wings and mate. The wings are shed in a certain spot which clearly indicates a termite swarm.
What Should I Do If They Swarm in My Place?
You should be keen on this matter. Again, the only clear manifestation of termite swarm is the presence of unattached wings in a certain area. If you find wings, do not jump into believing that there are already termites. Termites with wings are very much similar to a flying ant in appearance. Not unless you examine them closely. They have differences in antennae, waist, and wings.
These are the major differences between ants with wings from swarmer termites:
- Winged ants have elbowed antennae while termite antennae are beaded.
- Fore wings of a winged ant are larger than the hind wings while termites have equal sizes of wings.
- Ants have a constricted waist while termites have a broad waist.
If you have properly examined the unattached wings and end up concluding that they are really termites, leave it to pest control experts immediately to prevent further damages. Contact 2 – 3 pest control companies to have your area checked and choose the best company you prefer.
Swarms are really disturbing. They fly around your house for minutes. They are attracted to light. They are drawn to bright lights emitted by fluorescents, LED lights, incandescent lights, and the likes. Putting traps near these areas can minimize their nuisance. Plastic cellophane is effective. You can also use an electric mosquito killer.
Even though swarming termites do not indicate termite infestations directly, you should not feel relaxed about it. Take into consideration the possible reasons why they swarm around your house. It could be that your house is next to infestation or the infestation is already in progress. Do not think twice to call pest control companies. They know what is best.