“Arizona has three distinct termite swarm seasons.”
The swarm season for Arizona termites depends on the monsoon season, the time of the year, weather, the size of the termite colony, depending on the species (Arizona is home to upwards of 25 species of termites). The swarm season is visible in the form of swarming flying termites. Termite swarmers are the most visible signs of the existence of termites in or around your home.
A swarm of flying termites consists of maturing males and females reproductive’s intent on starting a termite colony. They will flutter around for a while as a swarm, but then pair off in couples with the intention of starting new colonies of termites. When a king and his queen pick a place to set up home, their wings fall off and the two create a secluded place as their first home together.
The sight of termite swarmers is not necessarily an indication that your home is about to cave in from hidden termite damage. The termite swarm might have come from a neighboring home and have just flown into your yard for the party. Once they pair off and a couple finds a home, it can be years before they produce enough worker termites to do termite damage.
If you see wings from the swarming termites on a window sill, that can mean that the termites have met, shed their wings, and crawled into the wood of the window frame and will start a new termite colony inside your home.
However, if termite swarms are frequent, regular events in your yard, and if there have been swarms in your neighborhood for the past 10 years or so, you can expect that a large number of termite nests are nearby. Termite wings are not all that strong and the termites do not fly very far. The presence of termite swarms indicates that there is one or more large termite colonies close by and that numerous males and females reproductive’s have decided to leave home and seek their fortune. Their fortune is the ready supply of wood in your home.
Furthermore, there may have been swarms when you were not observing. Some of the termite swarms are attracted to light and that is when they are usually seen. Others do not have this attraction for light. They might swarm, pair off, and start colonies without you ever noticing.
In Arizona different species of termites swarm at various times of the year, often at the same time as the many different species of Arizona ants.
To the untrained eye…ant and termite swarmers are similar in appearance.
- Elbowed antennae
- Narrow pinched waistline
- Two pairs of unequal length wings (front wings longer)
- Straight beaded antennae
- Broad waistline
- Two pairs of equal length wings
If you are seeing swarmers call the experts at Bills Pest Termite Control we can dispatch an experienced termite inspector to check your property free of charge. For more information about termite swarmers or termites in Arizona give us a call.