Subterranean termites are insects that feed on wood. No matter the siding, all homes have wood within their structures. There are two types of termites commonly encountered by homeowners: the Worker and the Swarmer. Worker termites are very small, around 3mm in size. They are typically only seen when a mud foraging tube is broken, or infested wood is broken open. Worker Termites are feasting on any wood they can find nearby to bring back to feed to the Termite Colony. The wood within the frame of the home is optimal for their feast. There can be multiple Termite colonies in close proximity to one another.
Swarmers are the reproductive cast of the termite colony. They are approximately 4 mm long and dark brown or black in color. We get many calls in the beginning of spring from customers saying they have seen Termites or “Flying Ants”. In the pest control industry, we call this Swarmer Season. Termite Swarmers have emerged from their colonies and are out in full force looking for habitable vegetation to form new Termite colonies. When a home owner claims to have seen a Termite inside of their home, it is most likely the Swarmer. They may or may not have wings, as the Swarmers lose their wings shortly after emergence.
Subterranean termite workers can be found year-round, though swarmers are usually encountered between the months of March through May in Alabama.
Because it is difficult to spot the Termite itself, it is important that home owners know the signs of Termite infestations and damage. Here are a few of the most likely indicators:
Termite Swarmers or piles of wings.
Maze – like patterns in the walls or floors.
Buckling or squeaky floors
Pinpoint holes in drywall