Termite Swarming: Everything You Need To Know About Swarming Season

You may have seen pests swarming around your house, with a spike in an invasion during certain seasons. Consequently, one might be tempted to speculate. When does the swarming season for termites begin? What is the duration of termite swarms?

Well, in our complete guide to Termite Swarming: Everything You Need to Know About Swarming Season, you’ll find the answers to all your termite questions.

Let’s begin!

Why Termites Swarm?

Swarming allows termites to reproduce and establish new colonies near food sources. Termites are highly gregarious insects that thrive in groups. In the spring, young termites acquire wings to swarm away from their parent colonies.

termite swarming everything you need know about swarming season

The breeze frequently pushes along the swarms until they reach the ground, even though they don’t fly for very long. These bugs can start new colonies once they touch down again.

Termite Colonies typically swarm once a year, though several swarms may occur in rare situations. Multiple swarms occur in a season, but they are usually smaller than the first.

When is termite season?

Termites are active year-round, but they swarm more frequently during certain times of the year.

Generally, it is during the warmer months, usually from March to October, when termite colonies frequently swarm to find a mate and start a new colony.

However, as mentioned above, termites remain consistently active year-round in warmer climates while they become less active during winter months (November-February) in colder regions.

Therefore, if you’re seeing a lot of termites around your home, it’s likely that you’re in the middle of the swarming season.

Types of termites

subterranean termites

Though there are many different kinds of termites around the world, they may all be divided into three groups: subterranean termites and drywood termites.

And even though varieties have many similarities, they also have numerous variances in terms of behavior, dwelling habits, and swarming patterns.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites swarm in order to propagate their species. They swarm in the late winter or early spring when the weather is warm and humid. You may see large numbers of termites flying around your home or property.

Drywood termites are attracted to light and will often enter homes through windows and doorways.

These termites cause extensive damage to wood structures, as they consume the wood from the inside out. In order to protect your home from these pests, it is important to be able to identify them and understand their behavior during swarm season.

Subterranean termite swarmers

Subterranean termites swarm in the late winter or early spring. They are darker in color than drywood termites, with a longer body, wider head, and wings that are a pale-to-clear color.

The swarmers are commonly seen during the day. These critters live in mud tubes created by the soldiers of the swarms. The soldiers protect the colony from invaders and build the mud tubes.

Another fascinating aspect is how their dietary habits differ. These pests are more particular about the wood they use. Because they live in mud tubes, they are frequently discovered around the house’s foundation.

The mud tubes are frequently visible while they eat. They do, however, eat against the grain of the wood. The softwood in between the grains appeals to them. This is very different from drywood termites.

They must be kept away from your home because they might cause damage if they come inside.

Black House Termites

Blackhouse termites are a subterranean species of termite that can be difficult to distinguish from carpenter ants. They are most commonly found in the Southern United States and build their nests underground.

In addition, black wingless termites are not as uncommon as one would think and should be monitored closely. They can cause significant damage to structures if they are left untreated.

How to Identify a Termite Swarm?

Termites

Termite infestations can happen in the blink of an eye; therefore, recognizing termite swarms quickly and correctly is critical. 

The swarming stage occurs when many termites are ready to form a new colony and reproduce to populate it.

Termite swarmers resemble flying ants in many ways, and they don’t arrive alone! Termite colonies start immediately after swarmers land in a favorable location.

Termites may live almost anywhere with a cellulose source and a moderate moisture level—exactly the kind of habitat your home provides!

Here’s how to determine the difference between flying ants and termite swarmers: 

  • Antennae: Termites have straight antennae, but ants have curved antennae. 
  • Wing structure: Termite wings are of the same length, whereas ant wings vary in length.

Another way to tell whether you have a termite swarm is to look for abandoned wings surrounding the entry point, commonly a door or window sill. 

The wings of swarming termites are only temporary and fall off quickly after landing. If you notice abandoned wings near the swarm, it’s likely not flying ants! 

So What Does This Mean for My Home?

 If you’ve discovered a termite infestation on your property, it is advised to act immediately. Termite swarmers begin establishing a new colony as soon as they arrive in a suitable area, and infestations can develop quickly.

However, the first step is to determine which termite species you have in your home before proceeding. One of the simplest methods is to assess the extent of the termite damage to your home.

  • Drywood termites cause significant harm to the wood they infest. Examine your roof or attic for signs of termites tunneling into the wood, such as small holes in wooden surfaces, to check for this termite species. Infestation and eventual damage are more likely on wood surfaces that are directly exposed to the elements.
  • Subterranean termites dwell underground, and their destruction begins from that site itself. If your property has a subterranean termite infestation, the first area to look for damage is the parts closest to the ground, particularly the crawlspaces. Damaged wood structures in your crawl area, as well as obvious mud tubes running along walls and other nearby structures.

What Should I Do If I Discover Termite Signs?

If you have discovered termite signs, it is important to take action as soon as possible; particularly because the longer you wait, the more harm termites will be able to cause.

First, inspect for signs of the pests. It would help if you looked for mud tubes, discarded wings, and wood damage. Once you have determined where the termites live, it is easier to determine their entry point and take steps to address the problem.

Secondly, keep an eye on the affected area and take pictures or videos as evidence. You can then reach out to a local pest control company for assistance.

It is highly advised not to panic when you discover signs of a termite infestation. Remember, You can do a few things to mitigate the damage and get help from professionals.

How to Prevent Termite Damage

termite swarming

According to statistics, termites destroy nearly 600,000 homes each year, causing thousands of dollars in damage. You surely don’t want your house to become one of them!

  • Wood and wood products should be kept out of the house.
  • Repair leaky roofs, foundation fissures, and indoor and outdoor water lines.
  • Termite-infested plants should be removed from your property.

How to get rid of swarmer termites?

We understand your concern about swarmer termites. In fact, getting that little itchy as soon as you discover termites in your home is comprehensible. Therefore, enlisted below are the ten measures on how to get rid of swarmer termites:

Don’t panic

Although termites swarm during certain times of the year, it doesn’t mean that you need to panic just yet.

They will send out many winged termites, or alates, to start new colonies during the swarming season.

And while it may be alarming to see them swarming around your home, they are not going to cause any damage right away. In fact, they typically won’t start gnawing on beams until they have established their colony.

That being said, since there will be a few telltale signs that will indicate whether or not you have an infestation, it is advised not to panic, proceeding with calm and caution.

Avoid sealing the exit holes.

Termites swarm in order to find new soil to survive. If you seal up the exit holes, they will only cause more damage as they try to find other ways out. It is important to avoid sealing the exit holes so that the termites can swarm and find new soil.

Get into Action

If termites have already made a meal of your dwelling, there are a few alternatives for getting rid of them immediately. To get rid of the bugs, try one of these termite treatments.

  • Baiting stations: Baiting stations attract termites to a bait supply located several feet away from your outside wall. If you examine the bait and it’s gone, you can be sure there’s a termite colony nearby.
  • Liquid treatments are used to remove termites that have already entered a home. These treatments are successful at eliminating termites from your home.

Vacuum up the bugs

If you see termites flying around your house, it is important to take action right away. You can vacuum them up and then kill the colony by pouring a termiticide over the area where they are nesting.

Contact a reputable pest control service.

Termites swarm to establish new colonies. If you see termite swarm activity, it is important to contact a reputable pest-control service right away. They will assist efficiently in inspecting your property and take the necessary steps to get rid of the termites.

Additionally, they will also assist you with avoiding the infestation.

Once you are successful in eradicating the termite swarm, it is highly advised to adopt these post infestation measures:

Seal up your house

Termites swarm in order to establish new colonies, and they can travel up to 100 yards from their original nest. This indicates a high risk of termite infestation, especially if your home has any gaps in the windows, doors, or foundations.

Thereby, one of the best ways to prevent pests, such as termites, from entering your home is to seal up any openings.

This includes cracks in the foundation, doors, windows, and other openings. Caulk, metal flashing, or weather stripping can seal these gaps.

Get rid of Mulch

Get rid of Mulch as well. Because grass is so difficult to keep green, most of us like having Mulch in our yards. On the other hand, Mulch can be exceedingly detrimental to your home’s foundation. Termite bait, if you will. You’re virtually inviting them in when it’s within a few feet of your house!

Keep moisture out

The last thing to consider is keeping the moisture out of your home. Humidity and moisture are ideal factors for termites. Termites are ready to cause harm, whether there is a leaky roof, leaking pipes, or a lot of rain.

While we recognize that you have no control over the weather, you do have control over the leaks in your home. Make sure you conduct your monthly house inspections. You may be unaware of a leak.

Conclusion

The swarming season for termites is unavoidable, and it’s never fun. A termite swarm indicates that the colony is expanding and must be eradicated. In fact, termite swarms are catastrophic news for property, and they must be dealt with immediately.

However, by following the measures outlined above, you can take control of the situation and exterminate these pesky pests while avoiding an infestation.

Furthermore, you can always hire a competent pest control service to help you deal with the termite swarm.

FAQ’s

Is swarming season different than termite season?

Yes. The termite swarming season refers to the brief period when winged termites look for a new habitat. If termites are already present, they are likely munching away at any wood sources they can locate, causing damage to your home. Termite activity isn’t always associated with the swarming season. Termites are pests that can be found throughout the year.

How long do termite swarms last?

Termite swarms usually last a few weeks, but this can vary depending on the local weather.

Are there different types of termite swarmers in the US?

Drywood termites, Formosan termites, and subterranean termites are the three most frequent termite species in the United States. Swarming patterns vary among these termites, although the majority swarm after a rainstorm and avoid severe winds.