One of the major signs that there is a termite infestation in the home is the presence of winged termites. These winged termites are also known as swarmers, and they can be a major indication that there is a mature termite colony in the area.
Winged termites look exactly like what their name suggests – they are termites with wings. Of course, you don’t often get to see termites out in the open, so you might not be familiar with what a termite looks like . A termite looks a lot like an ant – it has six legs, antennae and segmented bodies. However, unlike ants, the body segments are not as visible, especially in the waist area.
Because of this similarity in appearance it can be hard to tell termite and ant swarmers apart. Luckily, they have a few distinctive features. If you get a chance to look at them up close, you will notice ant swarmers have two pairs of unequal wings, bent antennae, and a noticeable waist, while termite swarmers are stockier, with equal wings and straight antennae.
Role in the colony
The swarmers have a reproductive role in the colony. Once a colony is mature, the queen will start to hatch these swarmers, which live only for a few days, and which set out in large numbers to reproduce and start a new colony. Most of the swarmers will die without achieving their goals, and many of the nests that are started will not grow into full blown colonies. However, one or two may survive past the initial stages, where you have enough workers to take care of the new queen, and the colony takes off.
What does the presence of winged termites signify?
If you notice swarmers around your home and on your property, it is an indication that there is a mature colony nearby. It does not necessarily mean that your home is infested, but it’s a bit of a heads up. However, if the swarmers are inside the home, then it’s pretty much confirmation that your home is infested. In either situation, it’s best to contact a pest control company and schedule an inspection to make sure that your home is safe.
For more information on termite swarmers and how termite infestations spread, or if you have an infestation in your home that needs to be removed, contact us today.