Subterranean termites have only one way of starting new colonies, and that is through the use of swarmers. When an underground colony is large enough, it will begin producing a reproductive caste, also known as swarmers, and these swarmers will fly out and start new nests or die trying.
Flying ants and flying termites
Both ants and termites spread their colonies through the use of swarmers, and in both cases, they are winged members of the colony. As such, it can be hard to tell the two apart, but if you have the chance to look at a swarmer up close, you will be able to tell the difference if you know what to look for. Ant swarmers have bent antennae while termites have them straight. The ant swarmers also have a noticeably thin waist, while termites will have a blockier body with no visible waist. Finally, while both ant and termite swarmers have four wings, ants will have one pair of wings longer than the other.
Do swarmers pose a threat?
Swarmers can be an indication of two things: either there is a large infestation nearby, or a new infestation is about to start. Seeing them outdoors however is not that big of a cause for concern. They might be subterranean termites which do not start home infestations – they simply start new colonies in the ground, and these colonies can take a very long time to grow. However, if the swarmers are indoors, or if you’ve found piles of wings somewhere inside your home, then that’s a much stronger indicator that there is an infestation.
In any situation, if you live in an area with heavy termite populations, the best way to make sure that your home is safe from the extensive damage that these insects cause is to work with a pest control company and set up an annual inspection schedule. That way, if an infestation does start, it can be detected early enough to prevent heavy repair and control costs.
We provide both inspection and control services in case of various pest infestations, including termites. If you have an infestation, or if you would like to know more information about termite infestations, the various treatments that can be used against them, or any pricing information, contact us today. One of our team members will gladly help you out.