We all know April showers bring spring flowers but what else do those showers bring?  Flying termites! Also known as alates they come from the ground, tree stumps or cracks in foundations. Its job is to leave the nest, find a mate and produce a new termite colony.

After heavy rains, you may see hundreds of termites swarming to search for new mates to start a new colony. Although rain is a factor, the swarming is mostly due to warmer temperatures, humidity, and the colony age.  

Flying termites aren’t much of fliers, in fact, they don’t travel much further than 100 meters from their prior colony.  Once the termites land and discard their wings to initiate the mating, a new colony begins. Together, the couple constructs a small underground chamber and the female starts to lay her eggs.

Types of Termites

Subterranean termites: The most common type in the United States, subterranean termites build their colonies underground and rely on soil for moisture. They build worm-like tunnels along foundations and walls, and even through cracks in concrete, so even slab houses are not immune. These tunnels, which can resemble mud-tubes, allow them to hunt for food while protecting themselves from the open air, which can kill them if they’re exposed to it for too long.

Dampwood: The largest of the three types, dampwood termites live in wet, decaying wood. They need regular contact with water and high humidity to survive. Their need for excessive moisture means that they’re not commonly found inside homes and structures, but any wet conditions inside your house — caused by leaks, for example — or any food sources nearby (like damp firewood) can attract them.

Drywood: As their name implies, drywood termites colonize in dry wood or other cellulose sources, such as paper or boxes, above ground. They require neither the soil contact of subterranean termites, nor the wet wood and water of dampwood termites — making them a particular threat to wood-frame attics, dry crawlspaces and other similar areas in your home.

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