Sacramento Property Owners' Complete Guide To Termite Swarmers

winged termite perched on a tree

Termites are small insects that eat cellulose, which, incidentally, exists in wood. These pests have a white or tan appearance and live and work in a group known as a colony. Termites pose a threat to properties by eating away at the wood within the structure and are responsible for billions of dollars in damage across the U.S. each year. Many property owners will be unaware that a termite infestation exists for lengthy periods, as these pests are rarely out in the open.  For this reason, it is important to know how to identify termites and the possible signs of intrusion. Termite colonies contain three general classifications that include workers, soldiers, and swarmers.

Understanding Termite Swarmers

Unlike the workers and soldiers, swarmer termites (or alates) are much more likely to be seen and suggest the existence of an infestation. Swarmers are roughly a ½ inch long with a brown or black color and have wings. These insects are sometimes confused with flying ants that also have two pairs of wings, but are distinctively different because their rear wings are smaller.
Although termites are active year-round, swarmers are most commonly seen in the spring, which is sometimes referred to as “termite season.”  These flying termites leave the colony to mate and potentially create new colonies. Swarmers will “shed” their wings and seeing them scattered around is likely a cause for concern. 

Other Possible Signs Of Termite Infestation

Owners of property are encouraged to look for indications that may suggest a termite invasion. If doors or windows become difficult to open or close it may be caused by damage to the adjacent wood structure. 
You may see maze-like patterns of mud tubing in the walls or patches containing many tiny holes. Often the walls where infestations occur will sound hollow. Ceilings may sag and areas of paint or drywall may show signs of displacement, fading, or discoloration.

How Limiting Moisture Is A Key To Preventing Termites

Termites tend to exist in areas with significant moisture, so accumulations of water must be prevented ASAP. The gutters should be regularly cleaned to prevent any clogs.  Leaking pipes should be promptly repaired and any water-damaged wood promptly removed. Consider using a dehumidifier in basements, crawlspaces, or other areas that lack ventilation and become very humid.  

Other Tips For The Prevention Of Termites

  • Remove wood from the exterior area of the home that could be a source of food such as tree stumps, dead trees, branches, and firewood.
  • There should be a barrier that separates the foundation of the property from the soil or grass that may be composed of steel mesh, sand, stone, or other materials.
  • The foundation of the property should be closely inspected for any cracks or other openings that could allow entry, and all openings should be filled with sealant.

Importance of Promptly Contacting A Pest Control Professional

Have you recognized some signs of a possible termite problem? It is important to act quickly to prevent potential further damage to your property. Keep in mind that store-bought termite treatments are generally inadequate for fully eliminating colonies of termites; therefore, contacting a licensed exterminator is critical.

Experienced Provider Of Termite Extermination Services In Sacramento 

Neighborly Pest Management is a local, family-owned group of professionals that has delivered solutions to homeowners in greater Sacramento for many years. We also remain committed to your safety and the protection of the environment by using many of the latest organic products available.
Our seasoned technicians can also explain the benefits of our bi-monthly home pest control plans that provide comprehensive year-round protection from termites and a host of other pests. Contact our office today to coordinate a free inspection and estimate.