As we know, there are around 3000 types of termites. In this article we are going to tell you about such a termite class as swarmers, aka flying termites, which sometimes may be mixed up with flying ant because of their similarity. But if you check the image, it is not difficult to see a distinct difference in the structure of their bodies and wings.
The difference between a swarming termites and flying ant
Swarmer termites (the flying individuals) belong to the reproductive termite species, meaning that they can mate. Owing two pairs of skinny wings, they can fly to new places and create their colonies. However, after the first and only flight their wings drop up. Their distinctive characteristic is that they have eyes.
Winged termites, before mating, swarm in such places as inside houses, around windows and doors. A new “young” colony, having emerged, creates pairs and after a mating period lay eggs. From new larvae there appear worker termites, then soldiers and termite swarmers. The lifecycle repeats all over again.
Ants and Termites: How to Distinguish Them (Video)
Swarmer termites’ influence on households
It is swarming termites that belong to the small group of household pests. Getting into the house, dwellings, they can damage all the objects containing cellulose, which is their source of energy. It is wooden furniture, wardrobes, shelves and ordinary paper.
As a result of the termite pests’ activity, the damage of the households can be a considerable one, especially in tropical countries.
Usually they get into the house through the outer (external) side of the house (building), if there are cracks and defective places in the walls. Visually the presence of termite swarms can be identified by the typical dark-colored tracks of compressed soil and excrements, which termites leave behind for creating new swarms.
How to identify swarmer termites in house
The problem resides in the fact that having got into a house, termites eat the inside of the building, so the outer surface seams undamaged, and the presence of termites becomes clear too late. The construction can collapse just within a day. It is historically known that people abandoned entire villages and cities because of termite invasions, while in the South America it’s difficult to find a book older than 50 years.
Don’t think that swarmer termites can get inside the house just if this house is made of wood. There are cases when having brought a wooden souvenir from southern countries, you can notice with time that it’s completely corroded by termites.
To identify swarmer termites in house you need to do the following:
- To check the presence of possible tracks and tunnels, through which they can get inside the house. These tracks are made of saliva, excrements and soil.
- Examine carefully the walls, windows, windowsills, doorways, if there are some holes, through which the insects could get inside as well. If there are cracks, damaged places, try to pick them up a little bit wider to see if it’ a simple corruption or a termite’s trace.
Inside the house you should pay attention to the walls, corners, wall bases as there can be these pests behind. Their favorite places are the warmest ones, that’s why you need to check the area above your head. While termites hide rather well, concerning their excrements — they just get rid of them, so you can identify the insects by these remnants.
Home remedies to get rid of termites swarmers
After having identified termite swarms, we need to think about how to get rid of them and what can help us in this.
But to begin with you need to consider whether you have found all their swarms in the house — you could miss some of them, so it would be appropriate to call qualified experts for this. They are defiantly more experienced in struggle against different insects and pests. It’s up to you. But if you decided to get rid of termites yourself you should learn the means that can assist you in your task. They include the following:
Cardboard trap. Take two sheets of cardboard, moisten them with warm water and put one above the other. Arrange this construction into the places where you have identified termite swarms. It will be a good bait for them. Next day take the cardboard trap, bring it to a save place and fire it. This procedure with the cardboard trap should be repeated a couple of times. It should be kept in mind that this method doesn’t guarantee killing all of the termites.
Sunlight and frost. If the furniture and other objects, damaged by termites, can be moved outside the house, than you can place them under the direct sunlight. Termites can be killed by sunlight, as their heaven is darkness. Another method to kill flying termites is freezing. You will need an appropriate refrigerator and you will have to disassemble the furniture. Note that this termite extermination process is not for everyone and it doesn’t guarantee their death.
Boric acid. This effective means of termite control is among ingredients of many insecticides, presented in shops. Boric acid dehydrates the insects and damages their nervous system.
All the above-mentioned methods are among the best ways in killing termites, but they don’t give a 100% guarantee that you will get rid of the pests for good. It will be the most effective to turn to experts form them to provide a thorough treatment not just inside the building, but outside of it as well.
Swarming Termites’ role in Ecology
There are also some advantages in termite colonies’ activities for agriculture, together with ants and earthworms. Owing to their movement in the ground, the soil is being fertilized and its productivity raises. It proved in Australia where we can see the record figures in wheat harvesting.