Winged termites or “swarmers” are not species of termites; instead they are part of the termite caste. Their role in the termite caste is to reproduce termites. They have wings because their roles are to find nesting places to lay their eggs. Most people would mistake them with the winged ants, but if you look at termites pictures they almost do resemble ants with wings. The distinguishing factor is that the ants have three distinct body parts which are the thorax, head and abdomen, while the winged termites have only a head and a long body.
Winged Termites – Described
Winged termites are about ¼ to 3/8 inch in length. Their colors vary from black to yellow. They have four equal sized wings that have varying color of smoke gray to brown. The wings extend beyond the length of their bodies. They are also called “swarmers” because they go out in large numbers. They are usually visible during springtime and after rainshowers.
Swarmer termites only keep their wings for a short period of time. After a certain time, the wings break from the base and are discarded by the termites. Hence, one of the things that you should look out for if you have termite infestations are these wings near your windowsills or other cracks within your house. This is a sign that there is already a termite infestation within your home.
Flying Termites – Sign of Trouble
If you are able to detect flying termites in the vicinity of your home, then it is almost sure that there is a termite infestation within your home. Their presence shows that there are termite colonies nearby. These winged termites come out seasonally, mostly in the fall and spring when the temperature is warmer. The presence of the winged termites serves as a red flag for homeowner to start checking for termite infestation in your homes. The flying termites are the beginning of the infestation so it is also the time to find about termite control.
Technically, swarmers are harmless; they are not the ones who directly destroy your wood structure. But you can also prevent them from coming in your homes. These swarmers are attracted to light; they will enter a structure through cracks or holes. To prevent them from entering your home, you need to turn off the light. You also need to cover holes and cracks from your homes to prevent them from getting inside.