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


Brianna Scott
23 May 2013, 00:05
I live in the panhandle of Florida (Pensacola Beach). Apparently, it is swarm season here. Lately, I have found what I believe to be termite in my bathroom toilet. I may see a few on the floor, and maybe one or two near a light fixture, but ALWAYS in the toilet. This has happened on two seperate occasions of the last week. I have been looking around to see if this is normal because there is never more than maybe 15 or so of them, but everyone talks about winged bugs, and NONE of the ones I am seeing have wings. Is this normal? Am I missing somethig here? Thanks in advance for any advise you may be able to offer.
23 May 2013, 09:51
Had our first termite swarm last night in the New Orleans area. My daughter noticed termites without wings coming into her kitchen through the stove vent and light fixtures. It seamed to be contained to the kitchen area.(about 200 in number)

I called Terminex this morning and am scheduling an inspection. they said it may be nothing to worry about because the termites loose their wings when trying to enter the house. Is this true?

The house is 40 years old and is a new purchase. We had inspections last year prior to the purchase.
Ask the Exterminator
30 May 2013, 10:16
Only the reproductive members of a termite colony have wings. They emerge from the ground, mate and try to return to the ground to start a new colony. Those winged termites lose their wings shortly after emerging from the ground.

If the termites are coming out of the ground and they are inside your house, you have a termite infestation and you should act on it.
30 May 2013, 13:50
Our house has previously been tented for drywood termites. For the last 2 years at least, we have noticed frass coming out of our front screen door. Husband didn't want to tent because it is inconvenient - my question is how much damage could they have done in over 2 years? They have been coming in the house in several different rooms for the last 2 weeks. Husband finally had the company who we have a contract with come to inspect but they can't tent until September because they are too busy!
Ask the Exterminator
30 May 2013, 14:02
Large colonies can damage a couple of board feet of lumber per year.
clint wilson
10 Jun 2013, 00:37
27 Aug 2013, 19:03
My neighbor recently tented their home for termites. Now I have winged termites in my attic and some have lost their wings. Did they come from my neighbors house? They seem to be dying and just a few are running around in attic (we have placed wood on rafters to use for storage purposes so it is easy to see them running around).
Can they begin a colony without a queen? Please feel free to provide any details of this situation. Thank you!
24 Sep 2013, 18:28
A few times this summer on really not days, I come home to find swarm termites at the buttom of a sliding glass door that faces the west, which gets a nice bit of sun in the afternoon. The termites are on the inside but sometimes I find them on the inside of the sliding screen door that is outside the glass door. Basically about 20 termites on the floor next to the screen door and about 5 on the screen door between the glass door. I want to speculate that the termites are coming from my neighbors garage which obviously has termite damage and is 10 feet away from my sliding screen/glass door. Are these termites coming from my walls by the sliding glass door trying to get out to the heat or are they coming from my neighbors garage trying to come into my building. This only happens on really hot (95+ degree) days.
Ask the Exterminator
27 Sep 2013, 10:19
If you are finding termites inside the glass door you should have your home checked for an infestation.
08 Nov 2013, 23:05
My sunroom was treated after finding swarmers all over the floor. The treatme
nt was Monday and now 5 days later I am still seeing swarmers. Is this normal? How many days will they swarm out after being treated?

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.
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