Termite Swarming Season

Termites are homeowners’ worst nightmare. Difficult to identify and hard to treat, termites cause billions of dollars in damage every year. (The average homeowner will spend around $3,000 to repair damage caused by termites). 

Each spring, termite swarming season begins. As a homeowner, identifying and understanding termite swarms is vital to controlling damage.

What is termite swarming?

Termite swarming is the way an existing termite colony establishes and produces new colonies. Around the beginning of the rainy season, termite colonies produce “swarmers” — winged, mouthless adults —  to fly out and find acceptable places for a new colony. The queen then follows on foot and a new colony is formed. The vast majority of the time, if you have termite swarmers in or around your home, you have a termite infestation that is multiple years old.

What do termite swarms look like?

What do flying termites look like?

Termite swarmers develop black or brown pigmentation and grow wings during the season. They look similar to flying ants and carpenter ants, but have straight antennae and wide bodies — no pinched waist. Swarmers will drop their wings once they land, leaving a pile of wings behind them, whereas ants will not. 

Termite swarms, whether inside or outside, are a tip-off that you have a termite problem. Act accordingly!

When does termite swarming season begin?

In Central and North Texas, you might begin seeing termites swarm around late April and early May but it ultimately depends on mother nature and weather patterns.

What kinds of termites swarm?

In North Texas, there are two main types of termites: formosan and native subterranean. Both types swarm. 

Subterranean termites cause more than 2 billion dollars in damage yearly. They feed on dead trees and bush, but if land is cleared for construction, will feed on any wood in direct contact with soil (like buildings). 

Formosan termites are yellow-ish brown, make aerial nests, and swarm in summer. They inflict the same type of damage as subterranean termites, but do it faster and can eat through non-cellulose materials like plastic, soft metals, plaster, and more.

What do I do if I see termites swarming outside my house?

If you see a swarm outside your home, the house structure might not be infested but there is definitely a mature colony (3+ years) nearby. If you see termites swarming nearby, we recommend doing a thorough inspection of your property, both outside and inside.

What do I do if I see termites swarming inside my house?

If you witness flying termites inside your home, you have a termite infestation. We suggest responding immediately.

Follow these steps.

  1. Do NOT use aerosol spray on the swarmers — termites will stick to surfaces and be difficult to clean up. The flying termites don’t have mouths and cannot do physical damage to your home, so you don’t need to be especially concerned the the termite swarmers (just be concerned with what they represent)
  2. Vacuum swarmers up thoroughly and dispose of the bag outside the home. This ensures any surviving termites are no longer inside.
  3. Begin an expert-level inspection and treatment plan. Learn about your options. You can DIY it or hire a professional, but in both cases, ensure that no corners are cut — better safe than sorry!

What are the other signs that I have termites?

If you’ve seen termites swarming in or near your home, look for some of these signs.

  • Discarded wings
  • Maze-like patterns in wood, walls, or furniture
  • Termite droppings
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Stuck windows or doors (an early target for termites)

If you see any of these signs in addition to swarming, conduct a thorough termite inspection. Once you discover the colony, begin a treatment plan using professional grade products — or hire someone to do a treatment!

Schedule a free termite inspection with Forterra Pest Control or speak to an expert today by calling 972-449-0602.

935 S Kimball Ave, #162
Southlake, TX 76092