Of all the pests that can damage the wood of your home, subterranean termites are head and shoulders above the rest. This is why NPMA has designated March 10th - 16th as Termite Awareness Week. One reason termites are able to cause such destruction is the secretive nature of these insects. It is as if they are wired from birth to elude our attempts to detect them. Most termites in a subterranean termite colony never see the light of day. They spend every hour of every day underground or inside the wood, they are feeding on. There is, however, one type of termite within a colony that exposes itself to the light. In fact, this type of termite loves light. It is called a swarmer. Recognizing one of these swarmers could keep termites from eating you out of house and home.
When a termite colony matures, it begins to produce male and female reproductives. The purpose of these reproductives is to leave the nest, take to the air, mate with each other and establish new nests. During this mating process, these male and female alates swarm together. That is why they're called swarmers.
4 Things You Should Know About Termite Swarmers
- Termites swarmers usually take flight in spring.
- Termites swarms don't last for more than 30 minutes.
- If you see a large number of swarmers on your property, it is a sign of a current and mature infestation and not generally a sign of an impending infestation.
- Often, all you'll see is one, individual swarmer. As swarms break up, these termite alates can scatter. If you see a tiny black insect with long, straight, white wings land on you, it is important that you know how to identify it. Termites are quite small at only around ⅛ of an inch long. With the wingspan added, they may be ¼ to ½ of an inch in length. Though their wings are small, they are much longer than the termites and stack on top of each other. This makes identification easy.
- Once swarmers shed their wings, they begin to disappear from view. This happens quickly, so look for termite swarmer wings in cobwebs or on surfaces.
We strongly recommend that you do not wait till you see signs of subterranean termites. These signs are brief and subtle. It is best to have proactive termite control for your Missouri home. If you've been on the fence of about whether or not you are ready to invest in this essential protection, schedule a free, no-obligation pest inspection. We'll check to see what pest pressures you have in your yard and give you the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family. Take advantage of Termite Awareness Week and give us a call to learn more about our termite control options.