Termites live in large colonies and each termite has a job to do. Some spend their time building the colony, others forage for food, and some are simply there to procreate and start new colonies.
Those termites that are destined for procreation have a dangerous job as they need to leave the nest to find a mate and there are many things that can kill them. To help them succeed, mating termites have wings. They use these to help them find a mate and, after mating, reach a new destination to start their own colony. At that point, their wings fall off.
There can be thousands of termites in one colony but they only mate when the conditions are right. That means, at certain times of the year, all the termites ready for mating will leave the nest together. This mass of termites with wings is known as a swarm.
The good news is that swarms of termites are not dangerous or a threat, they are simply looking for a mate. Of course, that won’t stop it from being an unpleasant experience if you’re stuck in their path.
The reason they swarm is that many of the termites won’t survive. Environmental factors, birds, and other predators will eat them before they get a chance to finish their mission. The sheer number of termites means that some will survive.
The swarming experience only lasts about thirty minutes and it is an impressive sight.
Dealing With The Termites
If you see a swarm of termites then they have a nest nearby. In fact, there will be a good chance the nest is under your home. As termites eat wood and can eventually cause structural issues, you’ll want to deal with the problem as quickly as possible.
A swarm means mating and that means new colonies. They are never too far from the original, you could end up with more than one colony under your home.
A clear sign of a colony starting is when you find several sets of termite wings. They discard them as they start their new colony.
You’ll want to consider termite baiting. This involves putting down a box that attracts the termites, they take the bait and ascertain that it is safe to eat. This allows them to mark the food source and they will return for more. Between visits, you can change the bait for a poisonous version and the termites will carry it back to the colony. It can potentially kill all of them.
This is a great way to deal with the issue and even confirm you have termites. Of course, it can also help to get the professionals involved. Because the colony is so large and hidden under your home, it can be hard to be certain that they have all been exterminated.
A professional can check for you and eliminate any remaining ones. They will even give you a guarantee for peace of mind.