Swarming Termites: Where Do Flying Termite Alates Come From?

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Of the thousands of termites that swarm out from their concealed, underground hidden nests, each of these insects has one ultimate objective: To establish a new and populous termite colony via mating and nest-building… and it is the start of the swarming termites season any time now.

A Formosan Subterranean termite colony (or Drywood termites) is a colony that lives underground, away from sight and detection. Undetected living happily underground, these swarm termite colonies can very quickly become a termite infestation, destroying property with expensive professional pest control the only solution. During the early spring and late winter seasons, multitudes of new male and female termites are produced and subsequently nurtured and groomed by their nesting mates for future release into the world above.

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Termite colonies coordinate their mass release in relation to current weather conditions, waiting for the perfect time for their entry into the above-ground environment. Termites come out in droves or swarms during ideal weather conditions that feature humidity, a lack of wind, and a strong degree of moistness.

Termite colonies typically culminate into swarms at the point when they have reached a particular collective size defined by the colony’s number of termite workers. Most colonies will inevitably swarm above subterranean locales on a yearly basis but in varying numbers and with a staggered release that features an initial larger swarm with subsequent second and third swarms of smaller sizes.

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However, termites don’t always swarm and can remain hidden for years, reproducing in their favored warm weather, shrouded from human view and detection measures. While remaining hidden, termites create multitudes of nests that result in populous colonies with the potential to cause massive damage to an individual’s property.

Despite many termites remaining hidden from view, there are flying termites, known as termite swarmers that will confidently and unabashedly fly in clear view. The presence of termite swarmers in your property is a definite sign of the existence of termites and signifies immense future problems if immediate extermination measures are not undertaken.

It is absolutely essential to be aware that termites only begin to swarm after their respective colony grows to a certain size. When weather conditions become optimal for swarmers to take flight, these flying termites will swarm in mass populations from their nests. In the event that a swarm of termites is viewed, it can be readily ascertained that there is a large, established colony of termites living somewhere in the confines of your property.

Eradicating the presence of swarming termites requires patience, fortitude, and, most importantly, knowledge. An individual must be well-informed about the swarming practices of these insects, in addition to knowing basic information about their behavior and breeds, to ultimately plan and complete a successful extermination without the need for future extermination attempts.

Exterminators should always have an initial idea of what swarming termites look like. These types of insects have different physical attributes and can be easily identified on close inspection.

Flying termites differ in appearance from other flying insects like flying ants and wingless termites and can be identified by examining them closely. Often, flying termites are mistaken for flying ants and can be identified with a trained eye looking for specific things in their respective body shapes.

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For example, termites of the winged and wingless varieties do not have a constricted space located between their abdomen and thorax in the way flying ants do. Additionally, while flying and swarming tend to share identical, similar coloring, and curved double antennae, the swarming termites are distinct from their wingless counterparts with their translucent, pale white wings.

Knowing how to identify termites will dramatically serve to assist your extermination efforts. Your expert knowledge and trained eye will give you the ability to effectively destroy specific termite populations easily and effectively without having to consult with a professional exterminator.

Read on below for more in-depth information about identifying termites and how to eradicate their presence from your property.

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Listed below are easy to read charts detailing answers to common swarming termite questions, information about their class designations and breeds, and the best ways to exterminate their colonies.

Castes / Types of Termite Colonies:​




Cannot fly

Cannot fly

Can fly

Within the caste system of termite colonies, it is only the specific Alatecaste that is capable of flying, as they are built with wings able to cut through air and wind. While they endure the misfortune of eventually losing their wings, Alates are exclusively the Kings and Queens of current and future colonies, as they are the only ones within the population that are developed sexually.

Termite Swarms: General Information, Facts and Tips​

Termites swarm with the intent of breeding and initializing new colonies

Termites typically swarm in the early spring season when weather tends to be warm and moist from recent rain showers

Termite swarms indicated the beginnings of a termite’s life cycle

Termite swarms indicate the commencement of termite season that occurs once a year and is dependent upon the termite species and specific weather conditions

Termite swarms occur at certain times of the day depending on the particular species. Some termites will swarm during the day, while other termites will only swarm in the evening

Swarming termites and winged termites are very attracted to bright light sources (unlike some other insects) and are often found swarming at locations that are brightly lit

Termite wings and swarmers could be a sign of a much larger problem. To determine if you have ants or termites, it’s best to contact the professionals at Western Exterminator for assistance.

Termites lose their wings after a short time of flying ability. They typically are not adept at flying and tend to rely on the assistance provided by wind currents to carry them through the air and to travel long distances. Air currents can carry primary termites like Kings and Queens to far distances where they can begin the process of starting new colonies.

Termite Extermination and Treatment Options

Termite treatment options are critically essential to the health and safety of your home. While there are natural methods touted as sometimes being effective, it is the time-tested, proven methods that homeowners should invest in to quickly reduce termite populations and successfully begin the complete eradication of termite populations. Some of the best extermination options available today are shown below:​

Termite Barriers

Termite Baiting

Termite Spray

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