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Spring is the most common time in Texas to see swarms of flying termites. These reproductive termites are on the hunt for a place to start a new nest, and you definitely don’t want it to be in your house. Understanding termite swarms can help keep your home protected from these devastating insects. Here are some common questions and answers about termite swarms.

 

Why do termites swarm?

A “termite swarm” refers to a large group of reproductive termites that fly together. The purpose of these swarms is for the reproductives to mate and start a new colony. Not all termites swarm. Like ants, termites are divided into castes: workers, soldiers, and alates. Each group has special responsibilities to help the colony function. The alates are the group that is capable of reproduction, and the only termites that have wings. In Spring, the alates will take part in what is called a “nuptial flight.” They will swarm and fly together in search of a mate. After finding a mate, the termites discard their wings and begin creating a new colony.

 

When do termites swarm?

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when termites will swarm, as much is dependent on the specific species and weather conditions. That being said, in Texas, the majority of termite swarming takes place between the months of February and May. Swarms are particularly common during periods of high humidity or following rainfall.

 

How do you identify swarming termites?

Flying ants and termites look a lot alike and can often be confused for one another. Knowing the difference between ants and termites is important in knowing which steps to take when you see the swarms. Termite alates are typically brown or tan in color. They have thick bodies that do not pinch in at the waist. Termites have straight antennae and two sets of wings that are approximately equal in length. In contrast, ants have a very pronounced constricted waist between the thorax and abdomen. This narrow area is the biggest clue in distinguishing whether you are dealing with ants or termites. Ants also have elbowed antennae, and their wings are not the same size. The front set of wings is usually significantly larger than the hind set.

A swarming termite

A Termite Alate by Derek Keats from Johannesburg, South Africa [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)] via Wikipedia Commons

 

How do you prevent termites?

Any time you see swarming termites around your home, you should be on high alert to a possible termite infestation. Termite prevention efforts can save you loads of time, money, and stress. Here are some prevention tips and tricks:

  • Ensure proper drainage in your yard
  • Get rid of damp or rotting firewood and tree stumps
  • Keep drains, gutters, and downspouts clear to eliminate excess moisture
  • Ventilate basements and attics
  • If using landscaping mulch, keep it away from the foundation of your home
  • Schedule regular pest control/termite inspections and treatments.

If you see swarming termites and are concerned about your home and property, contact the professionals at EcoArmor Pest Defense. We specialize in Anna, TX termite control and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We are a veteran owned and operated company that prides itself on superior work ethic and honest, dependable service. For the best pest control in Melissa, TX, McKinney, TX, and surrounding areas, trust EcoArmor Pest Defense to do the job right.