PestCast: Termite Swarmers in New England

By Chris Williams on July 22, 2014.

Termite SwarmersWelcome to the Colonial Pest Control “PestCast.” I’m Zack Ciras, a service technician at Colonial Pest. Colonial Pest Control is a full service pest control company serving Central and Eastern Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire, and Southern Maine.

It’s spring here in New England, and everything is waking up, including termite swarmers. Swarming termites are often confused with ants, but it is important to know the difference. Termites can’t be properly treated in the same way ants are, so while the swarmers seem to go away, the workers could be eating your home out from under you.

Termite swarmers will be a similar blackish color as ants, and about the size of a grain of rice. The termite swarmers’ wings are two pairs of equal size, and they extend past the body. The forewings of winged ants are larger, longer, and differently shaped than the hind wings. Termite antennae have no distinguishable elbow in them, but ants antennae are elbowed. And finally, termites have a thick waist, where an ant will have a thin waist between the thorax and abdomen. Swarming termites are the most common termites a homeowner will see, and sometimes a homeowner will only see wings which have dropped. The damage caused by carpenter ants and termites also differs, but that’s another show.

The presence of termite swarmers indicates an existing, mature colony. These sexually mature alates often emerge on warm, sunny days, especially after a rainy period when humidity is high. The mud tubes from which they emerge are short, much shorter than the exploratory and other tubes nymphs, soldiers, and worker termites use. The initial swarm is usually fairly impressive, but secondary, tertiary, and more swarms may occur, with lesser numbers on average.

I can think of no better example of an abundance of termite swarmers than in Framingham, Massachusetts. Why is this? The average age of homes in Framingham, the overall existing population of termites, and the commonality of homes built on slabs or on foundations surrounded by fallen and buried trees are some distinct causes.

The proximity of wood to ground contact and the risk of cracked concrete allow the termites access to sources of cellulose inside the structure of your home, even in the drywall!

Colonial Pest Control has a long history successfully treating homes and protecting homes from subterranean termites. We have been trusted with the effective use of the Sentricon Termite Elimination System. We have the knowledge and experience to safely exact localized chemical treatments as needed. In short, if you may have seen termite swarmers or their wings, give us a call at 1-800-525-8084. That’s 1-800-525-8084. And begin protecting your family and your home from termites today.

For, I’m Zack Ciras. We’ll catch you next time.

Photo credit: Derek Keats / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)



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