Termite swarmers are termites that are designated to fly away from the colony and spread the colony to new places. These termites are only capable of spreading the colony and can not cause any damage to your home; it’s their children, the worker termites that will eat and destroy the wood in your home.
These reproductive termites have a small pair of wings that give them the ability to fly. However, these insects cannot fly very well and often use the wind to carry them long distances. The reason that they are not good flyers is because their two pairs of wings are both of equal length. Insects such as flying ants also have two pairs of wings but the anterior pair are longer than the posterior pair making them more aerodynamic.
Flying Ants vs Flying Termites
While speaking of these flying ants, many people confuse these insects with the swarmer termites.
Here are four simple ways that you can tell these species apart:
1. Ants have bent antennas and termites have straight
2. Ants are sectioned into three body parts while swarming termites have only two body parts
3. The abdomen of an ant is very thin while that of a termite is thick
4. As mentioned earlier, the wings of an aunt are not equal length while the wings of a swarmer termite are.
Where to Find Termite Swarms
Now that you know how to identify these insects, I will now tell you where to look for them. If you find these insects on the outside of your home or on trees around your home you may not be in much trouble. Because these swarmers cannot fly very well, they are often blown by the wind onto the exterior of your house or onto neighboring trees and plants. If you find these bugs in these locations, generally you will have no problem.
However, if you find a swarmer leaving from the structure of a window, door, porch columns, or any wood structure, then you should contact some pest service. Once inside these structures, swarmers have the ability to mate and begin reproducing working termites which will begin to cause damage to your home. Finding only a couple of swarmers inside your home may only be coincidence. However, if you begin seeing many, than more than likely this indicates that a colony has formed somewhere in or near your home. The quicker you take care of the problem, the less damage will be done to your home.
Termite Swarm Success Rates
While these swarmer termites may sound very intimidating, the success of these little insects is not very good. In order for a female to reproduce, she must first find a male swarmer termite to mate with. Once she has mated, she must find her way to soil which provides protection for her. In order to make it to the soil she must avoid being eaten by birds, reptiles, and other predators. Also, if she does not make it to the soil quickly enough, then she will die and not be able to reproduce.
Swarmer termites have a 1/1000 chance of survival and success.
The Termite Swarming Season
Termites require moisture to live, without it their bodies would dry out and they would die. So mature termite colonies tend to produce and send out termite swarmers in the wet spring and fall months. During this time it is quite common to see them out in swarms, flying around, after a rain storm; since this give them the best change of surviving and starting a new colony.
One interesting thing to note, is that these flying swarms of termites seem to be attracted to light, and they will fly around in a swarm around outside lights and light sources. It can actually be quite a sight to see a large swarm of termites buzzing around together (as long as its not your house they are swarming around).