A mature termite colony will produce swarming termites once or twice each year. Flying termites are one of the most visible signs of an active termite infestation.
If you are home during a swarm and the swarm is relatively large, detecting airborne termites can be easy. You will see many flying insects gather around windows and light sources as they search for an exit to the outdoors. Proper identification of flying insects can be difficult without the help of an expert. Many homeowners mistake flying ants for flying termite swarmers.
Due to their larger colony size (60,000 to 1 million termites per colony), subterranean termite colonies produce large numbers of swarmers – typically hundreds or thousands. Drywood and dampwood colonies are much smaller and thus, may produce only 10 to 100 swarmers each. In this case, it can be easy to miss the actual swarming event.
After the swarm, another way to detect airborne termites is to look for the wings they leave behind. Shortly after leaving the nest, the swarmers’ wings break off. A number of same-size wings around your home’s foundation and window sills means the flying termites likely are from an infestation near or inside your home.
Colony of termites in soil next to home:
Note the larger winged termites amongst the small er worker termites.