As a homeowner, it’s important to be aware of the conditions that are conducive to termite activity as well as the warning signs of a potential termite problem.
If you do have a termite colony nesting in your home, swarmer wings will typically be your first visible indication. Swarmers—also known as alates or reproductives—are one of three distinct types of termite that make up a colony. Swarmers have only one job: to reproduce and establish new colonies. These termites are referred to as “swarmers” because they fly out of the colony in huge swarms at mating time.
The difference between the wings of swarming carpenter ants and termites.
As the swarmers fall to the ground from their short-lived flight, their wings break off of their bodies and they attempt to find a mate. The majority of swarmers will die before successfully mating; their survival rate is less than three percent in fact.
Spotting a termite swarm or pile of swarmer wings outside your home doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem. Remember, there are 10 to 13 termite colonies per acre of land on average in our region of the country.
However, if you see an active swarm or a pile of white swarmer wings inside your home, you need to call a professional immediately. This is an indication that an active termite colony is established within your house.
When searching for new food sources, termites often construct tubes from a mixture of dirt, saliva and feces. In the termite industry, we refer to these as mud tubes.
Typical areas in which homeowners may spot mud tubes include the exterior foundation, leading from the ground up to the siding, a window or door. Inside the home, mud tubes are often found around doorframes and along windowsills.
Spotting a Warning Sign
If you see one of these warning signs in or outside your home, it’s imperative that you contact your termite treatment provider as soon as possible. If you don’t already have a termite warranty, call a professional immediately to discuss treatment options and establishing a retreat and repair warranty.