Termite Swarmers: Life Cycle, Identifying, & Treatment (2023)

Of all the pests and insects that can get into homes, termites are considered the most dangerous. These wood-destroying creatures attack millions of property every year, especially in the US.

Termites cost homeowners billions of dollars in treatment and repairs. That is more than house fires, earthquakes and hurricanes when combined. Unluckily, some insurance policies do not cover termite damage.

That said, understanding what termites are as well as how they behave is important. However, since a termite infestation starts with termite swarmers and ends with swarmers, it’s important to know what termite swarmers are.

What Are Termites Swarmers?

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A termite swarmer or also known as alates are winged termites whose primary role is reproducing and making new colonies.

photo of a swarming termite

However, in order to look for a comrade, these future termite queens and kings will swarm. Then, look for suitable places for their colonies.

Termites Swarmers: What Do They Look Like?

  • Size

These termites are about 3/8 inches long including their wings.

  • Shape

Termite swarmers normally have beaded antennae, a thick-waisted or straight body, and elongated wings.

  • Color

The color of their body will differ from solid black to beige or tan depending on their species.

  • Signs of Infestation

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When termite swarms inside they will usually come out of wooden structures like posts, baseboards, windows, door frames and even on the walls, through small holes. These holes are known as exit holes.

Thus, if you notice small holes particularly in wooden structures, there’s a possibility that there is an infestation in your property.

On the other hand, since winged termites are so concerned to light, proof of broken wings are around doors and windows are a worthy indication that swarms have emerged within your structure and they may possibly bring infestation.

Why Do Termites Swarm?

When environmental situations like high humidity and warm temperatures take place, this initiates the disposition of the immature termite queens and kings to take wing from their colony to mate. Then start a new colony of their own. Moreover, this is just a natural survival deposition to continue the presence of the species.

On the other hand, termites swarm after the colony achieves a particular size as well as when the weather conditions come to be best for flight.

When Do Termites Swarm?

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  1. Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites swarm when the weather starts to warm. Typically, at the beginning of springtime following a rain event.

  1. Formosan Termites

These termite species swarm in late summer or spring after a warm rainy day. Moreover, they tend to swarm in times of higher humidity in the night hours from early evening to midnight.

  1. Drywood Termites

Drywood termites usually swarm during fall months or late summer from August to November.

  1. Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites, on the other hand, swarm during summer seasons.

How Long Do Termites Swarm?

Typically termites swarm for a few a weeks. Though, the start and end may possibly differ depending on local conditions like weather patterns.

Where Do Termite Swarmers Come From?

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Swarming termites usually appear from cracks in the foundation and walls. Also, they come out over the holes in the soil in the yard. Nevertheless, termite workers appear over swarm tubes which are created by worker termites.

How to Stop Termites from Swarming?

There are plenty of ways that a homeowner can do to stop termites from swarming such as:

  • Use A Vacuum Cleaner

Using a vacuum is an effective way to stop termites from swarming. All you have to do is put a soapy water in the shop vac and begin sucking the termites.

  • Keep structures on your property in a good shape

If you have any wooden structure that’s in disrepair or rotting, make sure to fix or get rid of it to disappoint termites from moving in.

  • Contact A Local Pest Control

If you’re not sure to how do deal with termites or don’t have enough time to stop them from swarming it is best to contact a local pest control.

Other ways to stop termites from Swarming

  1. Remove sources of moisture like leaking pipes and broken downspouts
  2. Ensure that your basement is vented properly
  3. Don’t store woods near your property
  4. Don’t panic

How Long Do Termites Live After They Swarm?

In actual fact, there’s only a very small chance for termites to survive after they swarm. Simply because many are plagued by birds and other insects.

On the other hand, since termites don’t have enough energy to fly, typically will last for about 40 minutes.

Swarming Termites or Flying Ants: What is The Difference?

how to spot the difference between flying ant and a termite swarmer

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For most homeowners, the most common indication of termite infestation is the swarms of flying insects. But, not all swarming creatures are termites. A number of them are flying termites.

Since termites and ants differ in various ways, distinguishing them at first glance can be difficult for most people. In order to determine the real culprit knowing their differences is important.

  • Antennae

Flying ants have bent antenna while termites have straight antennae.

  • Body

Termites have straighter waist while ant waist is pinched

  • Wing Structure

When it comes to wing structure, swarming termites wing have an identical length. Flying ants, on the other hand, have different wing length.
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Termite swarmers aren’t eating your property. But they have a sole purpose why they exist and that’s to mate and build new termite colonies.

Furthermore, termite infestations happen in a flash. That is why it is very important that you know how to determine termite swarms correctly and quickly.

As a matter of fact, when the signs of termites are disregarded serious damage may possibly occur.

Thus, if you think there’s a termite activity around your home, it is best to seek help from termite control specialist as soon as possible.

Hopefully, this content gives you a better understanding of what exactly termite swarmers are.

Comments 2

  1. Laura Sblendorio says:

    Thank you for all of this information, been dealing with this for a bit thinking it was something else, I have been bitten and stung by these pests and they really hurt, very dilabetating. Im hoping to do these methods given here in article, if it fails I will call exterminator.

    I do have a question do they find humans as hosts? and do they put out an odor at all during infestation? because I have been noticing this smell only happens certain times. Smells sweet and musty all at once.

  2. Afton Jackson says:

    I really appreciate your list of ways to stop termites from swarming your house. I never knew that moisture from things like leaking pipes could contribute to a termite infestation, which makes sense that we’re experiencing one now after we recently had some plumbing issues. I’ll get a termite extermination professional to stop by our place and make sure we get rid of them as soon as possible.

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