Ignore the Swarm at Your Peril: 4 Actions You Should Take Upon Seeing Termite Swarmers in Your Home

As a homeowner in Australia, the last thing you want to see on a humid summer evening are termite swarmers (alates) flying in circles around your light bulbs. Flying termites are a portent of destruction. However, while you should immediately eradicate any flying termites you find in your home, you shouldn't stop there. You need to find out where those potential home eaters originated—and fast.

If you have discovered that the lights in your home have attracted a swarm of termites, carry out the following actions to ensure your home is safe.

Identify the Species of Termite

The first thing you should do is capture one of the winged termites (alates). You need to identify whether they are drywood termites or subterranean termites. A winged subterranean termite has a single dark vein running along the top of its wing and a winged drywood termite has 3-4 veins that cover each wing.

Winged termites are usually on the lookout for a mate. Once they have mated, they will seek out a suitable location in which to form a new colony. Subterranean termites build their nests in soil whereas drywood termites tend to build their nests in wood.  

Scour Your Home for Signs of Infestation

Next, you need to work out if the winged termites originated within your home. Check every piece of furniture, every wall, under every sink, around every window and door, and of course anywhere that is shrouded in darkness as termites like to work out of sight. Look for mud tubes, discarded wings, and termite droppings, which resemble mounds of pepper.

Check Your Yard and the Surrounding Area

Go outside and examine the outer walls of your house. Also, check fences, outdoor furniture, and wood piles for signs of termites.

Examine Trees, Stumps, and Your Roof

Subterranean termites are easily identified by the mud tubes that they use to traverse open areas to reach sources of wood. However, drywood termites are rarely seen outdoors. Check any stumps in your yard for the presence of termites. You should also examine any trees in your yard as drywood termites build their nests in dead branches.

You should also examine your roof and guttering for signs of termites. Both drywood and subterranean termites can and will make their way up to your roof. In the case of subterranean termites, they prefer moist, humid areas, so if your gutters are clogged with woody debris and water, this will provide them with the sustenance they need. Don't forget to check your attic too for signs of termites as both subterranean and drywood termites will build colonies there if sufficient food is available.

If during your survey of your house and the surrounding area, you discover the presence of termites, you should consider calling out a pest control service to eradicate them. Do not attempt to kill them yourself as you may only serve to drive them into another area where they will continue to wreak havoc. For more information, contact a termite control service.