Swarming termites — also known as alate or winged termites — are a natural occurrence in the springtime. That doesn’t make the sight of them any less unsettling.

But even though flying termite swarms look terrifying, they don’t actually cause any structural damage to your home (thank goodness). However, the appearance of winged termites near your home can be a warning sign that it’s time for an inspection. 

With the season of termite swarmers upon us, now is the perfect time to learn more about these flying critters. Keep reading to get prepared, learn what to do if you spot a swarm, and know when it’s time to call in the termite control experts.

Termites With Wings: What Are They?

Termite swarms occur when a subterranean colony matures, having grown large enough to seek more space and new frontiers. They are most common during a warm patch of weather after a rain shower (which, here in the Southeast, could mean any time of the year).

But winged termites are not the same as the termites that cause costly damage to your home and other structures. First of all, they are larger in appearance than worker termites. They also are a darker color and have compound eyes. In contrast, the worker termites are small, white, and blind.

Every flying termite you are actually potential kings and queens of new colonies. They wait until conditions are right and leave their colony in a large group to scout new areas, spewing forth in huge numbers. Typically, a termite colony can produce hundreds, or even thousands, of swarmer termites.

Many of these flying pests do not survive to form colonies because they are eaten by birds, lizards, and other small animals. Others die after landing on parking lots, roads, building roofs, and other potentially hot surfaces. 

The ones that do manage to found a new colony work in pairs, with the males following the females to a suitable place, usually wet soil near a wood source, where they dig a chamber and begin mating.

Signs of Swarms Near or Inside Your Home

Swarmer termites are actually not very good fliers, and their wings will break off after flying around for a short period of time. Their wings break off upon landing because they don’t plan on flying anymore. That means the number one sign of flying termites in a home or yard is discarded wings.

If you see discarded wings around your home, don’t panic. This simply means that there is a termite colony in your yard or near your house, but not inside your actual home. 

However, it’s still a good idea to get a professional termite inspection to be sure there isn’t a bigger problem at hand. 

Seeing swarmers outside is one thing, but what about seeing flying termites in your home? Although it’s unpleasant to think about, it is possible to have a swarm occur inside your house. While this is certainly unpleasant — scary, even — remember that none of these flying termites will survive to create new colonies.

But it does mean that your home may have a termite infestation, and it is important that you reach out for professional termite control ASAP. Want to learn more? Check out all our tips and discover when to worry about termites and when not to.

Get Termite Protection from the Best in the Biz

Termite damage is no joke, but it is preventable. Across the country, termites cause more than $5 billion in damage to homes each year—damage that’s not covered by insurance. In our warm, southern climate, the threat is even bigger because termites remain active year-round. Check out our blog for more fascinating termite facts!

When it comes to termites, Terminix protects your home like no one else can. We use the Sentricon® System with Always Active™ technology, which works around the clock to keep termites away. And our termite protection comes with unlimited repairs* on any new termite damage! That’s the strongest guarantee in the business. 

Worried about termites? An inspection from the local experts at Terminix is just what you need to set your mind at ease. Whether you need help removing a termite infestation or you just want a free inspection to start protecting your home, we’ve got you covered. Give us a call today!

*Exclusions may apply.

Search the Blog