One of the most visible signs of a termite infestation is the presence of flying termites, sometimes called swarmers. These darkbodied, winged termites emerge in large numbers in the spring, in search of mates to begin a new colony.
Most termites in a colony are worker termites. They are soft bodied, creamy-white in color and spend nearly all of their time in the soil. Worker termites easily dry out when exposed to sunlight or air. Swarmers, on the other hand, are designed to leave the soil and strike out in search of mates in the hope of starting a new colony. They are dark in color with four wings of equal size and shape.
When termite colonies swarm, hundreds or thousands of winged termites are released. When this occurs indoors, the insects are often attracted to light sources, so homeowners may find piles of swarmers on windowsills or around other light sources. Soon after emergence, termite swarmers will break off their wings, so it’s not uncommon to see piles of wings on windowsills or countertops.
Nearly all termite swarmers will perish if they emerge inside a structure, but it’s still important to contact your pest professional immediately. Termites swarming inside indicate an underlying infestation that may not be visible. A trained inspector can locate and eliminate termites from your home.