When swarming termites (alates) venture out of a nest inside a home, they will try to squeeze through cracks and crevices in the walls and foundation to reach open air for the first time. Since swarming termites are attracted to light, they often can be found near windows or light fixtures.
Termites swarm only after the colony reaches a certain size and weather conditions become optimal for flight. If you see a swarm of termites around your home, then there likely is a well-established colony of termites living in or near your home.
For many homeowners, a termite swarm may be the most visible sign of a termite infestation. It is important to contact a termite expert trained in pest identification and biology to inspect your home and create a customized treatment program based on the particular termite species and areas of infestation.
Subterranean Termite Swarms
Subterranean termite colonies often produce thousands of swarmers. Due to the sheer number of swarming termites and subterranean termites’ tendency to swarm in the daylight, homeowners are likely to notice swarming subterranean termites.
Most species of subterranean termites swarm in the spring. While the majority of subterranean termite swarms take place during the day, the Formosan termite species swarms more often at night.
Drywood Termite Swarms
Drywood termite swarms are typically significantly smaller than subterranean termite swarms – often with no more than 100 swarmers. Due to the limited size of the swarm, you may not see this common warning sign for a termite infestation. However, you may notice drywood termite wings near window sills immediately after a swarm.
Drywood termites tend to swarm during the late summer or fall months.
Dampwood Termite Swarms
Dampwood termites swarm in the summer. However, dampwood termites are less of a concern to homeowners since they do not damage homes often.
Dampwood termites rarely nest inside homes because the moisture content in the wood is not high enough for them to survive. However, dampwood termites do produce swarms and can be present in wood surrounding homes, such as utility poles. A termite expert can identify signs of dampwood termites in or near homes, provide recommendations to reduce moisture conducive to termites, and create a customized treatment plan.
Read more about termite swarmers, or alates