Termites, also known as the “silent destroyers”, can go undetected for quite some time and can do a great deal of destruction before they are discovered. In fact, termites cause about five billion dollars of damage to American homes every year. Finding evidence of termite swarmers in your home is a sure indicator that you may have a termite infestation. Termite swarmers will typically appear between late March and mid-April, depending on the weather. But, what exactly is a termite swarmer?
Termite swarmers are adult male and female termites that have wings and can reproduce. As the weather turns from cold to warm, the swarmers will be released from their current colony to venture out and create a new one. An existing colony may release hundreds, or even thousands, of swarmers. Swarmers that find an ideal location for reproducing will become the kings and queens of their new colonies.
Identifying a Termite Swarmer
A termite swarmer is often confused with an ant swarmer. However, there are several differences that help to identify between the two. First, Termite swarmers do not have a segmented body while ant swarmers have a distinct head, thorax, and abdomen. Second, the antennae of a termite swarmer are straight and the antennae of an ant swarmer have a ninety-degree bend. Finally, termite swarmers have four wings that are the same size and ant swarmers have two pair of wings that are different sizes.
What about those Wings?
Once termite swarmers have landed in a location that is suitable for colonizing, they no longer need their wings. The wings will be discarded and sometimes even eaten by the termites themselves.
Signs of Termite Swarmers
When termites swarm, they head towards a light source. Finding a pile of wings near a light source in your home, like in a window sill, is a sure sign that you have an infestation. If you suspect that this is the case, search the outside of your home for mud tubes. A mud tube is a tunnel created by termites that allows them to move from the soil and into a structure where their food source would be.
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