At the end of winter, and as spring begins, termites begin their annual migration. Young termites, called alates, leave their existing colonies in search of a new home. The winged insects swarm together in search of a new place to set up camp, and might be scoping out your property as their new home base. Be on guard for termite swarms, so that you can take care of a potential infestation before it begins.

What does a termite swarm look like? An alate might look a bit like an ant with wings, but take note of these differences: An ant has a constricted area around their body that looks like a “waist”, whereas termites do not. Termite wings are uniform in size, while ants have pairs of wings in different sizes. And of course, a swarm of termites looks like… Well, a flying swarm of termites. Try to capture one or two in a jar so that you can observe their body shape and wings.

How do you know a termite swarm has moved in? If a swarm of termites settles into your home, you will notice piles of discarded wings. Often these will be found just inside windows or vents, or other locations where the termites can enter your home. And of course, once a colony is established around your home, you might find piles of what looks like “sawdust” where they’ve begun burrowing into wood structures.

How do I prevent a termite swarm from moving into my home? You can’t exactly repel a termite swarm, but you can make your home less appealing to the insects.

  • Repair cracks in your home that can allow termites to move in.
  • Clean your home’s downspouts and gutters regularly.
  • Install termite shields around your home’s foundation.
  • Minimize things like wood piles or old, rotting structures on your property.
  • Make sure the wood of your home does not contact the soil.

And if you see a termite swarm… Call us immediately. We can deal with the problem before it becomes a full-blown termite infestation.