Termite swarmers do not eat wood because they do not have biting or chewing mouthparts. Thus, they cannot cause any damage to structures or objects made from wood.
Termite swarmers are winged termites that represent the maturity stage in the termite’s lifespan. Besides having reached the maturity stage, flying termites fly when their original colony has reached a certain capacity, and they are ready to expand the colony. Also, the weather conditions become optimum for flight, which happens mostly during late summer.
The sole purpose of their wings is to fly, leave their existing colony, reproduce and look for a new nest to lay eggs. So when you see flying termites, it is worth noting that they come from the nearby established nest and they are looking for a new place to establish a colony.
In general, there are queen, soldier, and worker termites inside the termite colony. Soldier and worker termites usually mature in about 2-3 years and then, they develop wings to produce alates, i.e. winged termite swarmers. On the other hand, the queen outlives both soldier and worker termites as she is capable of living up to 10 years. Swarming termites have a short lifespan of an hour at the maximum if they do not find soil. Hence, they prefer flying and moving around in the evening or at night when the humidity levels are high.
Termite swarmers do not eat anything because they do not have mouthparts to chew or gnaw on. Instead, they are highly motivated towards searching for a new nest to reproduce and colonize.
After hatching, the larvae (called nymphs) entirely depend on workers so they can be fed. In order for the workers to feed the baby termites, the wood is broken down into simple sugars by living microorganisms in their stomachs. Then, the workers take the digested wood back to the colony while in their belly and share it with other termites in the colony through a process called trophallaxis (i.e. the exchange of food between two individuals).
Swarming termites do not cause damage to a home. They are simply mature termites looking for a new location to reproduce and create a new colony. Thus, their main role is to reproduce after they have matured.
An interesting fact, however, is that after mating the flying termite mates lose their wings and then start drilling holes in the wood. In contrast, the ones that did not mate die with their wings and legs broken.
When they get in the wood, the queen termite will lay eggs and establish a new colony of termites. After hatching, the newborn termite individuals will feed on the wood, which results in structural damage. Nevertheless, after they have completely devoured the wood, they further spread to other areas and eat up anything that is made of wood.
The rate of structural destruction also depends on the termite species and colony size, the type of wood, as well as surrounding conditions, as this affects the speed at which they consume. For instance, subterranean termites have huge colonies that prefer nesting in moist underground places. These conditions allow them to construct mud tubes that they’ll use to forage their colony into your home and consume at a constant rate, regardless of the size of their colony.
When you see a colony of flying termites it means you have an existing termite nest in or near your house, or these insects want to establish a nest. Or, already you have a termite infestation and they will continue spreading in your home because they want to establish a new colony. Because swarming termites is a warning sign, you should act immediately towards exterminating them before they establish a new colony in your home.
To prevent the swarmers from entering your home and establishing a new colony in your home, it’s recommended to contact a professional pest control exterminator as soon as possible. Calling in an expert is much more effective than using DIY home remedies because getting rid of termites is not easy. Hence, the DIY method won’t be effective and make the entire process a daunting task if you don’t have any knowledge of how to kill them.
However, you can also take measures to prevent them from invading your home before an exterminator arrives. We strongly advise you to take the following steps to keep these pests away. They include:
– Always close all the windows and doors during the peak swarming season to prevent them from entering your home.
– Do not keep plants near your home and switch off all the outdoor lights because this attracts them indoors.
– Keep firewood at least 30 feet away from your house as this provides favorable breeding conditions and a direct food source for the nymph termites.
Despite having a short lifespan, they will keep showing up because they are seasonal. Hence, you need to be extra cautious and continue to practice the above-mentioned measures.
Are termites taking over your home or business? Of all the pest problems, termite infestations are probably the worst to eliminate. These insects can cause serious damage, so if you need termite control services in Northeast Georgia, contact American Pest Control today for a free quote or inspection.