Swarming Termites – What You Need to Know
Termite swarmers are one of four types of termites in a colony. A termite colony includes:
- Workers – these do all the heavy lifting from foraging for food to building tunnels and nests.
- Soldiers – they do exactly what their names suggests – protect the colony against predators, who are most likely ants.
- Swarmers are the “alates” of the colony and leave the nest in droves in hopes of starting their own colonies elsewhere as future kings and queens.
- Kings and Queens – their job is to reproduce rapidly – the queen can produce 20,000 to 30,000 eggs a day with the potential life span of 50 years!
Seeing termite swarmers most likely means there is a larger termite colony problem somewhere close by. Left undetected or ignored, the termite queen can produce millions and millions of termites in her 50 year lifespan! “Wood” you believe that?!
South Carolina’s most prevalent termite is the Eastern Subterranean Termite and this species is known for its swarmers. Extremely harmful to your home’s structural integrity, the eastern subterranean swarmer is black and around 3/8 inch long from the head to the tip of the wings. They swarm early in the year beginning in mid-February through March and can been seen throughout the day, especially after a humid rain. Look for evidence of dead or dried swarmers or their wings in or around window sills, spider webs, or in your porch or deck lights. If you notice swarmers, contact Cayce Exterminating immediately as this is an indication that there is a much larger colony nearby that could be destroying your home.
Many people confuse flying ants with swarming termites. Here are a few tips in distinguishing the two:
- Does the winged insect have a two segment body or three segment body? If the answer is three, you have flying ants. If it’s two, this is a termite swarmer.
- Look at the size of their wings. Flying ants have shorter wings that are wider at the tip. Termites’ wings are shorter and the same width throughout – not great for flying.
- Flying ants have longer legs, angled antennae and veined wings.
While neither ants nor termites are ideal house guests, termites will cause much more destruction and damage than a winged ant. If you suspect you have swarming termites, don’t hesitate and call the pest control pros Cayce Exterminating right away. 803-796-BUGS (2847). Your pest, OUR problem.