Seeing swarming winged termites emerge inside your home can be startling. While termite swarms are a natural part of their reproduction cycle, they also signal a serious infestation needing elimination. Here’s what homeowners should know about when and why termites swarm along with stopping them.
Termite Swarming Basics
- Swarming occurs when a mature termite colony sends out winged reproductives called alates to start new colonies.
- Swarmers are darker in color with two pairs of long, equal-sized wings. Workers are pale cream and wingless.
- Swarming happens in spring, usually on warm evenings after rainfall when humidity is higher.
- Hundreds of winged termites may emerge from inside infested wood or the ground. Seeing 10-20 likely signals a major colony.
- Swarmers are attracted to light and may accumulate near windows, lamps or light fixtures.
- After swarming, they shed their wings and pair off to begin a new colony if they survive. The wings are often left behind as clues.
- Swarmers from subterranean termite colonies may emerge indoors through cracks in foundation walls. Swarmers from in-wall drywood colonies emerge inside living spaces.
Any termite swarm requires immediate inspection and treatment to eliminate the destructive colony. An active infestation will only worsen over time.
Termite Swarm Seasons
Termite swarming is linked to warmer temperatures, high humidity and rainfall. While it can happen year-round in warmer climates like Texas, peak activity follows this seasonal pattern:
- Early spring – First swarms often appear indoors in March to May after spring rains. Colonies are maturing.
- Summer – Swarming tapers off as temperatures climb and conditions dry out in June through August.
- Fall – Secondary swarms may occur September into November with cooler wet weather.
- Winter – Swarming is unlikely but can occur on rare warmer winter days, especially in south and coastal Texas.
Homeowners may see swarming multiple times a year. Protect your property by scheduling annual termite inspections and treatment.
Signs of Termites Before They Swarm
Don’t wait until swarmers appear to take action. Watch for these more subtle clues of termites beforehand:
- Mud tubes running up foundation walls or pier posts
- Hollowed out wood studs, rafters, trim or posts
- Sagging floors or drywall from damaged frameworks
- Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Discarded termite wings caught in spider webs or on floors
- Piles of fine sawdust-like frass under wood infested by drywood termites
Catching infestations early using wood-boring insect inspections improves chances of effective treatment before major structural damage occurs.
Dangers of Termite Swarms
Seeing swarming termites is concerning because:
Clearly, termite swarmers signal a priority pest issue. Inspection and elimination of the colony is urgent.
Can I Get Rid of Termites Myself?
Homeowners should not attempt DIY termite treatments, especially once swarming occurs. Here are reasons to call certified professionals:
- Identifying entry points into walls, foundations and wood requires expert inspection skills. Termites often come up through cracks and remote voids.
- Reaching hidden colonies behind walls or under slabs requires specialized tools like concrete drills, moisture meters and underground cameras.
- Strong termiticides and advanced bait systems are necessary to eliminate colonies, not just deter visible termites. These require special licensing and training.
- Fixing leaky plumbing, improving drainage, removing debris, and sealing entry points helps deter future swarms. DIYers often miss these important exclusion steps.
Termite control requires an integrated approach combining powerful termiticides, advanced baits, wood repairs, and meticulous exclusion work. It’s a job for seasoned pest control pros with the right tools and training. Don’t delay – call at the first sign of swarmers.
FAQs About Termite Swarming
Here are some frequently asked questions about termite swarm seasons and risks:
What month do termites swarm most? Peak swarming typically occurs in spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) in Texas. But swarming is possible year-round in warmer conditions.
What triggers termite swarming? Maturing colonies swarm when temperature and moisture conditions are favorable. Rainfall, high humidity, and warmer evenings around 68°F tend to spur swarming flights.
How do termites get in a house? The winged swarmers enter through cracks in foundations, walls, window frames and rooflines. Workers tunnel in from underground through plumbing holes, cracks, dirt-filled porches, etc.
Do termites swarm every year? Yes, mature termite colonies tend to swarm annually as part of their reproductive cycle. That’s why ongoing annual inspections and preventative treatments are recommended.
Can termite swarms happen in winter? Rare, but possible on warmer winter days above 60°F. Coastal and far south Texas are more prone to winter swarming events. But they mostly occur spring through fall statewide.
How long do swarming termites live? Swarming reproductives live just a few days to weeks. Their goal is to quickly pair off, shed wings, then attempt to start a new colony as king and queen. Workers may live 2-5 years.
Let Us Eliminate Your Termite Threat
If swarming termites have appeared at your home or business, take action now before major damage occurs. The expert team at Texas Bug Control stands ready to help by:
- Identifying what termite species you have swarming
- Performing thorough inspections to pinpoint the infestation source(s)
- Applying proven professional grade termiticides, baits and treatments
- Sealing entry points and fixing conditions conducive to termites
- Providing wood replacement and structural repairs for damaged areas
- Offering preventative termite control maintenance plans
Don’t wait – contact us today as soon as you see swarming termites. Our Texas-based specialists know how to stop termite swarms for good. Protect your property value.