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What Are Swarming Termites Exactly?


If the world didn't have termites, do you think it would be a better place? Well, it depends on how you look at it. A world without termites would certainly make life a little better for home and business owners who would rather not have to pay through the nose to repair the damages done by these wood-eating insects. After all, termites cost home and business owners over $5 billion every year in the United States alone. BUT, consider what the world would look like if termites didn't exist. These soft-bodied, secretive insects live their lives eating dead plant materials, which is digested with the help of bacteria in their stomach. If these creatures didn't exist, and all the dead plant material in the world was left to simply be worn away by the elements, dead stuff in the woods would probably build up pretty fast! Things would get so crowded with fallen trees and plants that there wouldn't be any place to hike or camp. What kind of a world would that be? How do termites move from the wild into your home? One of the ways a termite colony can get into your home is through swarmers. When a colony of termites grows large enough, it will split. At the appropriate season, typically in spring and fall, winged males and females (alates) will come out of hiding and join together in flight. These groups of termites may contain hundreds, or even thousands, of termites looking for new places to nest. Once they have mated, their wings are shed and they disappear once again. If you are seeing these termite swarmers on the outside of your home, you might be safe. But, when you see them inside, there is a good chance you already have a mature colony (or colonies) living within your walls. And, these winged termites only appear for a brief period of time. That means they can be easily missed. So it is good to be on the lookout for other signs that termites in your home can leave behind:

  • Mud tubes on foundation walls. These pencil-width tubes are built by termites so they can get from soil to the wood of your home without being exposed to sunlight and the elements.
  • Wood damage. This sign may only be visible if you take on a construction project within your home.
  • Buckling paint. This may appear on walls, floors, or ceilings when termites invade wood and push the paint up.
  • Discarded swarmer wings. As mentioned, wings are shed after mating. Some places to look for these wings might be on window sills, in spider webs, or on your home's foundation.

If you are seeing the signs of termites within your home, it's time to call for help from a professional pest control company. Termites may serve a purpose in the wild, but they have no business being in your home or business. Get them out today with Parkway Pest Services.