Formosan termites are subterranean insects that commonly live in the ground. Mature nest will periodically emit swarmers in large numbers over a wide area to find a mate from another colony nest to start a new colony.

It’s that time of year again. As the weather begins to warm around Memorial Day in the Charleston area, Formosan termites will begin their annual swarming activity to mate and establish a new colony. You’ll start to see alate nymphs and winged termite swarmers inside your home or business. 

Termite Life Cycle

As the new colony matures, the eggs will follow the typical insect life cycle beginning as eggs, then to termite larvae, to nymphs(immature termites with wings) or workers(immature termites with wings). 

The nymphs are typically about ½ inches long and are a white to off-white color. 

The workers usually swarm at night and are attracted to light. They are usually a brownish-red color, about ½ inches long, and have 2 pairs of wings equal in size. Since they swarm at night and are attracted to light, it is common to see several hundred swarmers on the interior of your home. 

How can I eliminate the termite swarmers?

Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to prevent the swarmers from entering the home. They are small and will find any crack or crevice to enter through. The swarming will typically last about 2-3 weeks and they can be removed by periodic vacuuming.

The swarmers are harmless and are unable to eat wood. They have to pair, mate and start a new colony. When they come inside a structure, it is a dead-end, as the larvae must be fed and protected by the workers to survive.

When Should I Be Concerned about the Termite Swarmers?

However, if you should find large swarms in the thousands on the interior, it could be an indicator of a structural issue. 

It’s important to know which termite you may have because each one is biologically different and requires different treatment methods. It’s also important to contact a trusted, licensed pest control professional to help with extermination and control.

If large swarms are found on the structure interior, save several of the termites and contact us at trip@barrierpestservices.com or 843-225-8250 to schedule your inspection today.