Termite swarms happen so fast and the number of swarming termites is so great that it is an experience you are unlikely to forget."/> Termite Swarms

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Termite Swarms

Summary: Anyone who has been through subterranean termite swarms can tell you that it happens so fast and the number of swarming termites is so great that it is an experience you are unlikely to forget.

There are several very good products that stop termites in a hurry. The Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System is a baiting system, but it can only be installed by licensed professionals. It's clean, quick and uses no liquids that poison the soil. There is Termidor, a liquid treatment that also kills the termite colony. This product is available on this website. To understand what is involved, click on the Termidor link and read the label to determine if you are capable of performing the treatment.

Termite Swarmer

It all starts on a warm, sunny morning. The previous evening there may have been a rain shower, so the ground is wet and soft. You're sitting there enjoying your morning paper and a cup of java when you first notice a small insect land on the window sill. In a few moments several more bugs alight and now they have your attention. You look around the room and suddenly realize you are not alone. The room is filling up with flying insects. In a matter of a few moments more the room has become dense with flying ant-like pests. In some cases there are so many the light from the windows becomes somewhat blocked.

This common scenario causes most people to call an exterminator in the same way you would call 911 if your kitchen was on fire. It is, without a doubt, a sobering event. So what, you ask, should you do if this occurs? First, the flying insects will do no damage to your belongings, nor can they harm you. Capture a few of the bugs in a bottle so someone can identify them. You need to know if they are, in fact, termites or flying ants.

Trying to stop the emerging insects is a challenge. These are the reproductive stage of the insect and they are bursting out of the ground programmed to find a mate, get back in the ground and create a new colony. As they emerge they are expecting to find wide open spaces only to discover they are on the wrong side of the foundation wall. That's why you see them fly towards the light of the window. They don't want to be inside your house anymore than you want them there. In a few minutes they lose their wings and, unable to get back into the ground, they die.

Many people run for the can of insecticide and start spraying the tiny hole(s) from which these insects are emerging. Actually, any household product like Windex, hairspray or air freshener will work. The foreign agent temporarily makes the insects withdraw to safety. But, the urge to escape their underground tunnels is so inherently strong they soon return.

Most swarms last less than a half hour. You may experience several swarms over a period of several days, but eventually they stop. Don't ignore it and think it is over. Termite colonies immediately begin developing a new generation of swarmers for the next season and if you don't resolve the problem you are bound to have the pleasure of this experience again next year.

Any treatment takes time and waiting only delays things. In fact, if you treat your property late in the year it is most likely you will experience another swarm the following spring. Once the termites have established underground swarm castles where these little guys reside, there is nothing that will stop them from emerging the following season.

For more termite articles please click here .

Ask Rick A Question


wilson mago
31 Mar 2014, 08:27
My house is only 5.5 years old. I am living in north florida. My termite company did the original soil treatment using boarcare. In Feb, 2013, my termite company did sentricon for me since 5 year passed from original soil treatment. I always renew my termite contract on time each year. Last Thursday, I saw swarmers out under refrig. Immediate called my termite company. They sent someone within 15 min. The guy found they came out from pipe to refrig. He sprayed some chemical and said I may see swarmers out from a different location within a few days since they can not go back after he sprayed. Yesterday, I saw swarmers out from the gap of my cement board close to the original swarmer location. I called today and he said it is normal. But he is back tomorrow to double check everything. Does the whole thing make any sense? I am completely freak out..... Thanks!
wilson mago
02 Apr 2014, 08:47
The termite guy came back. He thinks the 2nd swarms were from the same colony due to the close proximity. Sprayed more chemical foam. Upon my insist, he installed 3 more Sentricon always active stations. We did find active termite in one sentricon station.....

Any suggestion what to do next?

jill s.
19 Apr 2014, 15:31
I had my home sprayed for termites several years ago and kept the yearly payment until last year because Shamrock Termite control would come out, look around my house outside and say there were no mud pods and refuse to spray even though I believe I had termites still. Today a swarm came landed at my patio glass door and I sprayed them with Raid since that was all I had. Then they started coming from around the light switch by the door. Don't trust termite co's now. What to do
Liz A.
18 May 2014, 15:10
We had terminex come out and place baits around our house. After that I had another swarm in my living room. It was a three day later after a heavy rain. My question is when should the swarming inside end?
Liz A
18 May 2014, 15:13
Also the took down the mud tube where they were coming in. How long should we wait to do damage repair? Right away or wait to see if the baits work?
23 May 2014, 01:39
I live on the gulf coast in south MS. EVERY spring we have swarms for a few days. They only come out at night. About 9ish. And it last from 30 mins to an hour or so. Let me start off by saying I DO NOT have an infestation in my home. My house is estimated 1920s-1930s and is made almost entirely of cedar. Anyway. EVERY year during this time the swarms get into my attic (which has no screen on the vent window, just slanted wooden slats.) Then they come into my house through the cracks in the ceiling, also through the cracks of the doors. How can I stop this from happening? I just spent the last 2 hours cleaning and sweeping up thousands of termites. And still have some falling out the ceiling still. And I'll be doing this every night for the next few nights. I know my old garage is infested. We are going to have to tear it down and rebuild it. I'm just trying to find away to keep them out of my house during this time of the season. I don't know how to fill all the cracks because there is SO many of them. The joys of living in a really old home.
23 May 2014, 20:17
For the past five years or so, my area {north Florida} has been swarmed by termites. Every one I know seems to have the same problem, around a seven mile stretch. They are winged termites, and come in my home though all the windows and doors are closed. They seem to come in from outside. I pull all the blinds and shut off all the lights, but I hate the little critters and there are so many. We had a huge flash flood {26 inches in ONE day} about two weeks ago; could this be the cause for the abnormal amount of them this year? And if I duct tape all the seams around the windows and doors, will it prevent them from entering? Thanks!
Anna Stonefield
31 May 2014, 16:30

We moved to Charleston last summer and experienced this swarm thing for a couple weeks end of may begin of June. We have a huge wrap around porch that has five sets of French doors that enter the home from the porch. We used blue painters tape and sealed the doors and along baseboards on our wrap around porch. We only went up about four inches off the floor, to about the first door hinge. It worked like a charm, we just left it on until we stopped seeing the millions of wings around the outside of the porch French doors.
02 Jun 2014, 14:17
people once you see them swarm then yes you have an infestation! do you say I saw 25 roaches and not think there is an infestation?? Termites swarm to breed, drop there wings and crawl back in their holes until next time. Be proactive with these companies! All companies tell you what you want to hear so you will pay them! It is up to you to have them prove their work. I find the termidor stuff not reliable, especially in Florida. Tenting is the better option. I hear people say it is so expensive but so is replacing framework for a house or moving.
04 Jun 2014, 14:07
please help I have a wedding in my barn in 2 days yet I have termitate swarmers that come in and swarm at the time of wedding I need a quick fix what should i do
Ask the Exterminator
04 Jun 2014, 14:40
Termites usually only swarm once a year, unless there are multiple colonies present. Eventually, you should have the barn treated for termites. For now, any store-purchased pesticide will kill the swarmers. However, it's the active colony in the ground that you should be worried about.
11 Aug 2014, 10:08
Hi, we noticed like maybe 30 flying termites on in our screen door... does that mean we have termite problem?
Ask the Exterminator
13 Aug 2014, 16:20
The termites may not be inside your house, but they are at your front door. If it were my house I would be concerned.
20 Aug 2014, 05:03
I am in Scottsdale Arizona - in the evening after a big down poor during the day my husband were working in the garage with the doors open when all of a sudden we noticed dozens of flying bugs by the over head lights. We turned off the lights to try to draw them outside. Later my husband noticed wings all over the garage. It wasn't until a couple of hours after he told me about the wings that I went back into the garage and when I picked up a little bin there were wings in it and larva looking creatures in it. That is when I remember hearing about swarming termites. Does that sound like what it could be? We have had lots of trouble with subterranean termites in the past.
29 Aug 2014, 09:23
We leave our garage door open (we have screens) a few inches for air. We noticed termites in our BR which is directly above the garage. Do termites enter through the slightly opened garage door?
Ask the Exterminator
29 Aug 2014, 09:34
There are different termites that establish themselves in different ways. Subterranean termites come from the soil, building mud tubes to the wood they seek. Dry wood termites just fly inside. So, it depends upon where you live.
11 Oct 2014, 09:58
Hi! Im out of San Antonio, tx. Woke up two days ago to find several colonies (my neighbors fence too). Here's my question...

Why are they always on the cedar wood in the morning?

They retreat to the dirt once the weather gets hot. Oh and cedar wood smitter wood pffft! They eat that stuff too! they don't like the darker part of the wood but they do go for the lighter part. just spent $5000 for a brand new cedar fence. Trying to save it and as well my home.
03 Apr 2015, 17:13
I had a termite priblem last year they were coming thru a wall from my neighbors apartment and my vents. They came and sprayed. ThIs year 3 days ago they started coming out of the vents again. They came and said they are swarmers and there is nothing that they can do about them. No treatment was done, hundreds have come in in the last few days. What can i do about them? They said i dont have termites that they are swarmers and will die on their own soon. I am freaking out
03 Apr 2015, 17:16
Is there something else i can do on my own ? What can i do when the pest control is telling my landlords that nothing can be done because they are swarmers and not termites in the attic
Ask the Exterminator
03 Apr 2015, 17:59
Termite swarmers means termites are present. Perhaps another pest control company should be called in for a second opinion.
08 Apr 2015, 11:24
I'm in Washington state and I had my house treated with Termidor in late February 2015. We have been here for 7 years and the previous owners did not disclose the termite infestation to us, I know we have a very large colony(s) and we are still getting lots of swarmers, 2 months after the treatment. They drilled 3 holes in our bathroom and in our family room and treated the perimeter of the house (just sprayed, no drilling) when should I expect to see a difference, or will I see a difference with the treatment they did?
Ask the Exterminator
08 Apr 2015, 11:41
The success of liquid termiticides depends upon the person applying the materials. Termidor has to be applied so it creates a total barrier around a structure. If there are gaps, the product may fail. Secondary swarmers are not unusual, but that should end it. Any additional signs of termites would mean the product is not working properly.
20 Apr 2015, 15:50
We had a swarm of termites a few years ago and my mother panicked and vaccuumed them all up while they still had wings. She told my dad and he didn't do anything about it. He looked around the house and sure enough found like those termite homes on the brick outside, but they were empty apparently or dried out. After that we kind of forgot about it. Today however there were termites falling out of the light thing and vents and were all over the floors but they didn't have wings this time. They were all dark and black and often they would be in pairs. like not side by side, but behind one another. my mom panicked again and said that they're back and she started squashing them and scooping them and and trying to kill them all. I was wondering what we should do? Do you think those are from the first swarm? or are these new? we didn't see any with wings so I don't know where they lost them. there are probably hundreds and hundreds of those little bugs.
Ask the Exterminator
20 Apr 2015, 16:25
Not hundreds, but more likely thousands. Ignoring a termite swarm is like ignoring a roof leak. Suddenly, that original small trouble spot is now going to cost thousands to repair. My guess is you have a well established termite infestation that has already done a lot of damage. If you ignore it this time, be prepared to have the ceiling fall in on you. Call in a pro to get the house treated!!!
26 Apr 2015, 22:48
I live in East Texas. I had my house treated about a year ago around this same time. This afternoon after being in and out of my bathroom... to return about an hour later to find it filled with termites... in the tub,toilet and windowsill. Do I have to have my house retreated or will it go away? Can there still be termites under/inside/afrndround my house after 1 year? (How did they get in so fast)
27 Apr 2015, 08:21
I live in East Texas. I had my house treated about a year ago around this same time. This afternoon after being in and out of my bathroom... to return about an hour later to find it filled with termites... in the tub,toilet and windowsill. Do I have to have my house retreated or will it go away? Can there still be termites under/inside/afrndround my house after 1 year? (How did they get in so fast)
Ask the Exterminator
27 Apr 2015, 09:36
If the termite treatment was a year ago, I would say the treatment was not successful. Call the termite company and have them retreat. By law, they will only be able to "spot" treat. They will not be allowed to retreat the entire house. This is problematic because they won't know exactly where their chemical barrier failed to cover. Hopefully, they'll get it the first time, but you could re-experience this again next year. Read your contract and keep your fingers crossed that their contract included insurance to cover new damage caused by the termites.
04 May 2015, 11:41
The whole back of my house is infested with these little flying bugs. I just bought this house in December and the yards aren't done yet so it looks like a.desert back there there is hundreds if not thousands of these things what should I do?
14 May 2015, 01:37
It's swarming season in New Orleans. You see thousands of them everywhere you drive at around 9pm. I found 4 in the kitchen, five in my bedroom, 5 in the living room, about 4 in the garage and 6 in the bathroom tub. Is this just due to swarming season (obvious question but bc they're in all these rooms I want to know why). Does my home have cracks allowing them access inside? It's a slab with no wood to ground access, but as I said....thousands outside everywhere
20 May 2015, 18:15
Hi, I had recently had a swarm happen about 2 months ago at my house in Eastern part of Tennessee. Prior to the infestation I had contacted a terminator to get rid of them the same day they had swarmed. Well they come out put a barrier around the house and some under the house in the crawl space. 2 months later (Today) I had notice some out and about crawling around my porch and around my crawl space cover. It was the swarm ones with the wings. What does this mean exactly? Did they not clear the termite invasion or is it just part of the extermination.? Are they slowly dying out or is it a relapse of a new infestation. Help... Need advice.
10 Jun 2015, 04:09
I live in long island ny Had a swarm in house about6 weeks ago called a company looked around inside house explained it was a search swarm and treated outside house 700.00) this morning saw the same type of swarm in kitchen on floor now what do I do ???????
Ask the Exterminator
10 Jun 2015, 10:53
Repeat swarmers is not uncommon after a termite treatment. However, you should see no more after this one. If you do, call your pest control company.
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