What Causes Termites to Swarm? – Know the Signs

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(Newswire.net — April 23, 2019) — A termite swarm often indicates that you’re dealing with a termite infestation. For many homeowners, this is a major occurrence and often indicates that they have to take measures to deal with the infestation. But what causes termites to swarm? Understanding some of the reasons why termites swarm can help you better deal with an infestation.

What Causes Termites to Swarm?

Termites swarm to breed and start new colonies. As such, a swarm marks the beginning of the termite life cycle.

What is a Termite Swarm?

Termite swarms mark the start of termite season. When swarming termites venture out of the nest in your home, for example, they’ll try to squeeze through cracks and crevices in the foundation and walls to reach out to open air for the first time. Swarming termites are attracted to light, so they’re often found near light fixtures or windows.

Why Do Termites Swarm?

Termites swarm to breed and start new colonies. As such, a swarm marks the beginning of the termite life cycle. Termites will swarm when their original colony is ready to expand after reaching a certain capacity level. Swarming is also typically practiced by other insects such as ants and occurs when the sexually developed male and female winged termites leave their nests and take flight.

Once the termites leave their nest, they launch into the air into swarms and pair with termites of the same species from other colonies. After mating successfully, the termites land, shed their wings and begin the process of creating a new colony.

Damp soil makes it easier for newly paired mates to build their nest and survival rates are higher when there are high humidity levels. Termites don’t have to be outside to swarm. They can sometimes miscalculate their launching point and swarm indoors.

Launches are typically spread over a couple of days, with a large release on the first day and smaller ones on subsequent days.

When Do Termites Swarm?

Termites usually start swarming after a rain shower and in the early days of spring when the weather is warm. They use environmental cues as a signal to start swarming and also synchronize with termite colonies of the same species to reduce the possibility of inbreeding. As such, the time of day swarms occur depends on the termite species. Some termite species will swarm during the day while others will swarm at night, for example.

Winged termites are highly attracted to light sources, so you’re likely to see them swarming around light sources such as street lights.

Termites aren’t good fliers and highly depend on wind to move further from their nests. This explains why swarms don’t last long and are often found close to the nests from which they originated. However, if there are strong winds, the future king and queen termites will often travel far before they begin the process of starting a new colony.

Bottom Line

Termite wings and swarms are often a sign of a bigger problem and it’s important to seek the help of termite control specialists. Hiring professional exterminators will ensure you successfully deal with the problem. So, if you’re still wondering what causes termites to swarm then it’s because the process is necessary for their survival and dispersal.