With warm spring weather comes flowers, sunny days… and swarming termites. Though many people assume termite swarmers are just flying ants, these pests could actually be a warning sign of an infestation that you shouldn’t ignore.
Termite swarmers, also known as alates, are winged termites that are responsible for the colony’s reproduction. Alates come out as the weather warms up to mate and establish new colonies, which is why it’s important to watch out for signs of them on your property.
Are Swarming Termites Dangerous?
Though it can be alarming to come across a termite swarmer, these pests are generally not aggressive or dangerous to human health. That said, swarmers could be an indicator that there’s an infestation nearby, which may put your safety at risk.
Since termites chew through key wooden components in homes and buildings, they could weaken the structural integrity of your house. So, while swarmers themselves may not be particularly harmful, a termite infestation can be dangerous to you and your family.
How to Tell Swarming Termites and Flying Ants Apart
Termite swarmers and flying ants look very similar, which causes many people to mistake the two. To determine whether you are dealing with relatively harmless ants or if you are potentially facing a destructive termite infestation, it’s useful to know how to distinguish the two. These key differences can help you tell swarming termites and flying ants apart:
- Wing size: Termites have two sets of wings that are roughly the same size. Though flying ants also have two sets of wings, the bottom ones are much smaller.
- Antennae shape: Termites have straight antennae, while ants have bent elbow-shaped antennae.
- Body size: Flying ants have a narrower body and thin waist, while termites have a thicker body shape with a wider waist.
What to Do If You Notice Swarming Termites
Swarming termites are often one of the first signs of an infestation, which is why it’s important to be vigilant if you spot these pests on your property. Here are some steps you can take if you find swarmers near your home:
- Try to contain the termite swarmers: Collect multiple samples in a jar so a professional termite exterminator can identify exactly which species you are dealing with. Swarming termites, generally speaking, are harmless to your home, but can be a big nuisance, especially indoors. Vacuuming is one of the more effective ways to remove these from indoor environments.
- Fix potential entry points to your home: Correct any situation where wood siding is touching the ground or tree roots are pressing through or under the foundation.
- Call a termite exterminator as soon as possible: Termite infestations are no joke – it’s even estimated that these pests are responsible for $5 billion in damages every single year. Since they are able to cause so much destruction so quickly, it’s important to call an experienced termite exterminator to address the problem as soon as possible. If you need termite control services, United Pest Solutions is here for you – give us a call today to speak with one of our experts.