As winter fades into spring, the warmer weather brings about many changes as signs of life emerge after the long winter nap. Flowers begin to bloom; animals begin to move about, and termites begin to swarm. Spring termite swarms often cause panic to grip the hearts of many a homeowner, but what do they mean, really?
The Truth About Spring Termite Swarms
Subterranean termites tend to swarm in the spring. Not all subterranean species swarm at the same time. They can be separated by a matter of hours or even several weeks, but it is usually based on weather conditions because some species require more moisture in the air than others.
Swarming is typically associated with the colony’s maturity and age. Most subterranean termite colonies that are native to an area will only swarm if the colony is around three years old – rarely if it is younger. The reason termites swarm is to begin new colonies.
At the swarming part of the life cycle, young termites leave their colony to start a new one. One pair will mate, and that female will become the queen. Over the course of her life, she could lay a million eggs, but there are also secondary reproductives in the colony as well who are also producing eggs. This is how termite colonies grow so large so quickly.
Are you sure they aren’t ants?
Spring termite swarms can be confused with ant swarms. You’ll need to examine one of the insects in order to determine whether it is an ant or a termite. There are three main ways that you can discern termites from ants:
- Wings – Both types of insects have two pairs of wings, but the termite’s wings are equal in length. Ants have one pair of wings that is shorter than the other.
- Waist – The waist of the termite is broad, giving the insect a more tubular appearance. Ants, on the other hand, have more of a pinched waist, making the segments of their body much more distinct.
- Antennae – The antennae of the termite are straight; while ants have antennae that are bent.
If you aren’t certain, then your best bet is to call a termite professional. It is better to err on the safe side than discover that swarm you thought was ants was actually termites making your home the site for their new colony.
If you see spring termite swarms in or around your home, don’t wait; call North Fulton Pest Solutions right away. One of our experienced, qualified termite technicians will come to your home and assess the situation to determine if termites are making your home their home. If they do find termites on your property, they can use several products to get rid of them. Even if you aren’t seeing any termite swarms yet, this is a good time to get your home inspected for termites – before they come in and take over.