It’s spring time here in Houston.  Wildflowers are blooming, temperature are steadily rising, and unfortunately for homeowners termites are swarming.  A termite swarm is just another way of describing a large number of “Flying Termites”.  And termite pest control is a must to avoid serious damage to your home.

For the Majority of the year Termites operate in incognito mode.  They spend most of their life cycle trying to remain hidden from light and open air.  Termite pest control is essential to stop termites from damaging your home or office. Termites operate this way so as to evade detection by people and would be predators or enemies.  Subterranean Termites must also remain at a constant humidity level or they quickly dry up and die.  They achieve this goal by living underground and by traveling in mud/dirt tubes in order to conserve moisture.  When a subterranean Termite colony reaches a certain size the Queen begins to produce large numbers of a special type of Termite with wings.  These winged Termites are the potential kings and queens of new colonies.  When the weather is just right these Flying Termite Kings and Queens take flight and leave the colony to start a new colony in a new place.  Since only a fraction of them will ever be succeed in starting a new colony the old colony releases dozens at a time to raise the chances of some of the Termite Kings and Queens (swarmers) reaching their goal.

If you find Flying Termites in your house:

  1. Collect and save some of the Termite Swarmers-Termite Swarmers look very similar to Ant Swarmers.   Always save a few of the insects in order to show a pest control professional or entomologist to make a positive ID.
  2. Call a pest control professional to inspect your home.  It is important to determine if there is an active infestation and if a treatment is necessary.

Termite Swarming Factoids

In Houston these flying Termite Swarms usually begin in late February depending on the weather and can go on throughout spring.  

Each individual Termite colony will usually swarm about the same day every year

Termite swarmers usually die within hours of emerging if they don’t reach the perfect habitat to start a new colony

Termite Swarmers lose their wings very quickly after emerging

Termite Swarmers can look similar to Ant Swarmers

The Termite swarmers don’t do any damage themselves.  They are often just a sign of a Termite colony close by

Termite swarmers are attracted to light

Subterranean Termites Swarm in the Spring while Drywood Termites swarm in late Summer