What Termite Swarms Could Mean For Your Tupelo Property

If you own property in Tupelo, it is essential that you know the basics about termite swarmers. In our area, termites cause a considerable amount of damage to homes and businesses that do not have a termite barrier installed around them. Here is a quick primer for termite swarms in Tupelo.

What Termites Look Like

A termite swarmer isn't much to look at on its own. If you see one land on your skin, you may pay no attention to it. The average size of a swarmer is about ⅜ of an inch in length, and you can easily identify it by its rounded wings. The wings of a swarmer stack on top of each other and hang off the end of the termite. This causes them to have a distinctly rounded appearance.

Why you should know this: The appearance of swarmers on your property could mean your property has termites feeding on it.

It Takes Three Or More Years For Swarmers To Be Produced

When a termite nest is created, the queen doesn't start creating swarmers immediately. She waits until her nest has matured. This takes years. Termite swarmers are female and male reproductives. Their purpose is to establish new nests. There is no need for this when a nest is young.

Why you should know this: When you see termite swarmers on your property, or inside a structure on your property, it could mean termites have had years to feed on your property.

Termite Swarms Don't Travel Far

While termite swarms could fly a great distance if they wanted to, the reality is that they don't want to. Swarmers aren't trying to get anywhere. They leave the nest and flutter around in the air in search of a mate. This is why they swarm together. Swarmers from several nests can join together in one swarm with each individual termite searching for another of the same species. Since the goal of a swarm is to mate, swarms don't generally move far from the nests that created the swarmers.

Why you should know this: Termite workers can travel as far as the distance of a football field to get food, and workers feed on multiple food sources at the same time. When you consider that termite swarms don't travel far, it increases the possibility that seeing termite swarmers means that structures on your property have been damaged.

Swarmers Shed Their Wings During The Mating Process

A termite swarm lasts for less than thirty minutes. After the swarmers break away from the group, they shed their wings and tunnel into the ground to create a royal chamber to start a nest. Some species find gaps and cracks in structures and create this chamber inside wood.

Why you should know this: Those shed wings may be the only warning sign you get. Termites can swarm together and disperse in the time it takes you to go grab a gallon of milk from the store.

Swarmers Usually Emerge Outside

Termites that create their nests in the ground will often release swarmers outside. The termites that release swarmers outside are called subterranean termites. They are the most destructive termites in the United States. One reason why they're so destructive is that they release swarmers outside. It is hard to ignore hundreds or thousands of winged insects inside your home or business.

Why you should know this: If swarmers emerge outside and you don't see the evidence, structures on your property could continue to be damaged by subterranean termites. This can lead to significant costs.

Swarmers May Emerge Inside

Drywood termites often emerge inside. This is why they don't tend to be as destructive as subterranean termites. Their subterranean cousins may release swarmers inside by mistake. If so, this is somewhat good news because you're likely to do something about it. Unfortunately, subterranean termite swarmers appearing inside means you've had a severe infestation for years. This is not good.

Why you should know this: Swarmers don't accidentally get into your home. Finding them is always a bad sign. If they're subterranean termite swarmers, it is an even worse sign.

Subterranean Termites Are Sneaky

The cost of subterranean termite damage in the United States annually is in the billions. The cost of all other termites combined is only in the hundreds of millions. This is primarily due to the fact that subterranean termites are sneaky. They often release swarmers outside and they don't create kickout holes or frass, the way drywood termites do or create obvious damage like other termite types. Subterranean termites stay hidden.

Why you should know this: If you want to protect your home from subterranean termites, you need to be proactive.

Termite Control In Tupelo

Don't let your property fall prey to termites. Reach out to McCary Pest Control today. We can guide you in selecting a termite solution that will safeguard your investment. 

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