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Home > Blog > How To Get Rid of Swarmer Termites: Everything You Need To Know

How To Get Rid of Swarmer Termites: Everything You Need To Know

Jan 31, 2022

Although termites can benefit the environment, they can be silent destroyers to your home’s structural integrity. They cause extensive damage before you realize there is a problem. The average homeowner will spend approximately $3,000 in repairs once they realize there is a termite problem. These insects cause around $5 billion in damages in the U.S. every year.

Swarmer termites can signal an infestation with discarded wings or visible insects around your home. It’s essential to take measures to avoid these insects and take action the second you see signs of them.

Swarmer Termites: All You Need to Know

Here are some specifics to help identify this pest. 

What Do Swarmer Termites Look Like?

Depending on the species, swarmer termites are black, dark brown, beige, red, or tan. They have six legs and straight antennae. 

Unlike other insects, these pests have a thick, elongated body section without segments. 

Swarmer termites sport four wings, each of equal shape and size. These wings are double the size of their body, are see-through without color, and have a veiny appearance.

Once termites mate, they drop their wings. 

Swarmer Termite vs Flying Ant

A large group of swarmer termites gathered on a wooden fence post

Swarmer termites have straight antennae. On the other hand, flying ants’ antennae have a bend in them. Swarmer termites are also easy to distinguish by their thick, broad one-section body. Alternatively, flying ants have a pinched waist that separates the thorax from the abdomen. 

Although both swarmer termites and flying ants have wings, they differ in appearance. These troublesome termites will have two sets of wings of equal size. Their wings are double their body size. In addition, they will be see-through and have a vein-like appearance. 

Flying ants will also sport two sets of wings, but the front set will be larger than its back set. These wings are brown and more proportionate to the ant’s body size. 

If you are unsure which pest plagues your home, the professionals at Romney Pest Control can help you quickly identify your problem. 

Are Swarmer Termites Dangerous?

Homeowners may be concerned with their safety if they face a problem with termites. So naturally, not knowing what an insect is capable of can be nerve-wracking. Thankfully, swarmer termites aren’t a health risk, and they do not often bite humans. 

Still, these common pests can harm your home’s structural integrity and cause extensive damage. If they go unnoticed and untreated, there can be a risk to personal safety and bring an expensive repair bill to a home where swarmer termites reside. 

Termites can enter a home through air vents, cracks in the exterior, or by eating through wood features. They feed on items that contain cellulose, including wood items and paper products, to get energy and reproduce. 

Swarmer Termite Season

Some swarmer termites and discarded wings along a white wall

Swarming is a necessary stage of the termite’s lifecycle. It is the time when termites reproduce when they have outgrown their current colony and need to expand elsewhere. Swarms contain both male and female termites. They may consist of hundreds or even thousands of insects, depending on the colony size. 

It will typically happen after rainfall on a warm spring day without wind. These conditions are ideal for finding a mate and growing a new colony. 

The subterranean termite’s swarming season happens only once per year, usually during the spring and early summer months. Still, some species of termites will swarm in the late summer and early fall. 

Thankfully, termite swarms do not last long and are over after 30 to 40 minutes. However, this short period is significant enough for these pests to find their mate and a new place to call home. 

Do’s and Don’ts During Swarmer Termite Season

Being proactive during swarmer termite season can ensure you catch an infestation before it becomes disastrous. You may also be able to prevent termite activity from entering your home at all. 

Do’s:

●  Include the exterior when checking for termites. Inspect any cracks or holes for discarded wings, droppings, or dead insects.

●  Vacuum up any termite swarmers that you see. You can discard the vacuum bag or canister contents in the trash.

●  Call local pest control when you spot swarmer termites. Seeking a professional pest control service is the best course of action to ensure the problem is taken care of.

Don’ts:

●  Don’t remove or open walls. Sustaining the integrity of the structure is critical for effective treatment.

●  Don’t spray the swarmer termites. Watching them will indicate where they are coming from or entering a home for further treatment.

●  Don’t delay taking action because the longer you wait, the more damage they can cause.

How to Get Rid of Swarmer Termites

Close up of termites at different stages of life on a rock

Although spotting winged termites can be problematic, the worker termites are the ones that do the real damage. Getting rid of swarmer termites is not a simple job. Someone who attempts the task on their own may miss the workers that will continue to cause harm. 

Additionally, many homeowners find the task overwhelming to complete themselves. Having the help of a professional will mean that it is done properly. A trained pest control technician uses comprehensive methods to ensure that the entire colony is treated and removed rather than just the ones you see. 

If you want to try some methods on your own, here are some techniques that may provide some relief: 

  • Direct Sunlight or Freezing Method: If the infestation is within an item like a chair or shelf, remove it from the house. P it in direct sunlight or a freezer for several days. 
  • The Cardboard Trap: Use two pieces of cardboard, wet them, and stack them on top of each other in a place where you have an infestation. It will attract termites, and when it contains pests, remove it and burn it in a safe place. You can repeat this process, but it will not eliminate the colony. 
  • Use Boric Acid: Homeowners can coat bait stations or cardboard traps with boric acid. It will attack their nervous system and dehydrate them when eaten, resulting in death. 

Do Swarmer Termites Indicate an Infestation?

If you see swarmer termites, it may not mean that your home has an active infestation, but it is concerning. Swarms indicate that a colony is nearby. If you do not take care of the problem, you may quickly have an issue with these pests in your home. 

The time of day swarmer termites make their debut will depend on their species as some prefer warm daytime hours, while others come out at dusk. 

New colonies will be small and take time to grow and mature. On average, after five years, a colony is large enough to start creating swarms. Unfortunately, there might be significant damage to a building before homeowners even see a swarm.

Signs of a Termite Infestation

A large number of termites that are eating through wood at the base of a home

If you know what to look for, you can identify a termite infestation sooner rather than later. 

  • Discarded Wings: You may find dropped wings around window sills, doorways, or other areas of the home.
  • Frass: This is the excrement from termites that resembles loose sawdust.
  • Hollow Wood: Tapping on window sills or baseboards that sound hollow can indicate termites eating through the wood.
  • Mud Tunnels: These come from the soil to the colony and are a combination of mud, termite saliva, and wood. They protect the termites as they move.
  • Wood Damage: Termite damage often resembles water damage on wood areas. It is similar to rot but will have dry and hollow holes within the wood.

Say Goodbye to Swarmer Termites!

Unfortunately, if you spot swarmer termites out near your home, it often means that a mature termite colony is near. An established colony with swarms will mean that these pests have been around for years, causing damage. 

Because signs of termites can go undetected for a long time, finding a solution is critical once you recognize a problem. Contact us today so we can do a proper termite inspection and help determine how much damage you are facing. We’ll get rid of your termite problem in no time.

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