Termites usually swarm in the spring. Swarms consist of several winged termites emerging from their colonies and flying to different locations. The swarming termites eventually lose their wings and find a mate. The purpose of a termite swarm is to branch out and start new colonies. Termites swarming can be confused with ants, which also swarm in the spring. The difference is that termite’s wings are all the same size, while the ant’s wings by the head are larger than the wings near the waist. Also, termites have straight antennae and broad waists, while ants have bent antennae and narrow waists. Swarming termites are attracted to light. If a termite swarm occurs indoors they will often be found near windows. A termite swarm indoors indicates an infestation in the home, while swarms in the yard may or may not be a sign of a termite infestation.
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If a swarm indoors is ignored, then serious damage can occur to the house. Termites in the swarming stage are incapable of eating wood, and are generally unsuccessful in starting new colonies. However, they are unnerving to have around the house, and can easily be removed with a vacuum. The larger problem is the infestation that is indicated by the presence of a swarm. Overtime, a termite infestation can weaken the structure of the home by eating the inside of wood and other products containing cellulose. This is a serious problem that can eventually destroy a home.
It is difficult to evaluate the extent of a termite infestation. Killing visible termites is ineffective because there are many more below the surface of the wood. Do-it-yourself approaches rarely affect the whole colony, and termiticide must be injected deep into the ground to stop termites from approaching the home. In the case of a termite infestation it is best to seek professional pest control help. However, do not panic. Termites cause damage very slowly, which allows time to shop around for the most economical plan. Call multiple companies and talk to them about the price, as well as methods of treatment. There are two main methods of control used by pest control companies. These are pesticides and bait. Both require complicated placement and should be left to a professional.