Spring is here. The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, …and the termites are swarming!
Don’t worry though, there’s no need to panic and call in the termite control just yet. Swarming is a natural phase of a termite colony.
At a certain size, termite colonies start producing alates, or winged termites—what are more commonly known as swarmers. The alates hang out in the termite colony (usually underground) until certain weather conditions prompt them to leave. Usually this is a warm spring day following a rain shower.
The alates disperse from the colony en masse, thousands at a time. They flutter around, land and then break off their wings. Males then start searching for females. If they survive they will become a king and queen of their own colony.
The male follows the female around while she searches for a suitable location to start a new colony. Typically this would be moist soil next to a food source, such as under a log or wood pile. There, they create a nuptial chamber and begin producing a new colony that may take several years to become large enough to produce alates.
Termite Swarm Season: What You Need to Know
So why not panic? Even though a termite swarm may contain thousands of individuals and can be quite unnerving to watch, a very small percentage of them actually make it to the point of producing a new colony.
Most of the alates get eaten by birds, reptiles, and other insects. Many will land in areas unsuitable for termites such as the top of a building, in a lake or pond, or in a parking lot and they perish.
Of the survivors, only a small number will actually find a place with the right conditions to start a new colony. Those that do make it to that point will have to worry about ants, frogs, and small mammals until the colony is large enough to produce soldiers to help protect them.
If you’re worried, call up your local Terminix office and request a free termite inspection. Our expert technicians can help identify problem areas and provide recommendations should your situation call for it.
Termite Swarms Inside the Home
Sometimes termites will swarm inside a structure. It can be frightening having thousands of bugs fluttering around, crawling all over everything. Keep in mind, though, these will all die shortly and will not have a chance to create a bunch of new termite colonies in your house.
There is no need to spray insecticides, and the piles of dead bodies and wings can be removed with a vacuum. However, this is an indication that you do have an active termite infestation and you need to have your house treated.
Terminix is here to help. If you find a few termites wandering inside or even if you just want to be sure that you do not have an active infestation, you can always call us to schedule a free termite inspection.
We’ve been providing the highest quality termite control services for over 75 years, backed by the strongest guarantee in the industry.
Termite Swarm Season FAQs
1. What Time of Year Do Termites Swarm?
Termites swarm primarily during the spring months. However, thanks to the temperate climate we enjoy here in the Southeast, termites have been known to swarm year round. Warm, sunny days following heavy rainfall are when termite colonies and swarmers are most likely to be active.
Remember, there’s no need to panic just because you see swarmers.They are remarkably poor fliers, all things considered, and often make it less than a dozen yards from their point of origin. In fact, a termite colony at the edge of your property or in wooded areas can actually be a good thing, as they are a natural part of the decomposition and break down process necessary for a healthy ecosystem.
2. When Is Termite Swarming Season Over?
The “season” for termite swarms lasts through the spring and summer in the Southeast. Termite swarmer activity declines as the weather cools, dropping off noticeably in the fall and winter months.
Still, the mild winters in our area mean there is never truly an “off season” for termite activity. Any time a rainy day is followed by a warmer, sunnier one, you have the conditions necessary for a termite colony to swarm.
3. Why Do I Have Termites in my Bathroom?
It’s not uncommon for some individuals of a termite swarm to wander inside your home. Sometimes they will fly in through openings around windows and doors, vents, or chimneys and you may see a handful of termite alates wandering around, especially in bathrooms where they are drawn to the moisture.
Once they come inside they will most certainly die because there are no suitable places inside your home for them to start a new colony (unless you have a really bad water leak and then you would have more problems to worry about).
Trust Terminix for Termite Control
Don’t let termites get the best of your home this season—trust Terminix to provide first-class support backed by the industry’s strongest guarantee: If the termites come back, so will we.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call and schedule your free inspection today.