Termites have a well-orchestrated system to keep the colony alive.

What is Termite Swarming?

Swarming is the movement or formation of a large group of termites departing from their nest to form a new one. It looks dramatic and massive, so much like the destruction it plans to create. For termites, swarming is a necessary occurrence for the survival of their colony.

When swarming termites, or alates, venture out of their nest in search of open air, they will try to squeeze through the cracks and crevices of your home or establishment’s walls and foundations. These swarming termites are attracted to light and are often found near windows or light fixtures.

Termites swarm when the colony reaches a certain size and when weather conditions allow a good flight. If there’s a swarm of termites around your home, then most likely, a well-established colony of termites is present in or near your home.

Why do termites swarm?

Termites swarm when their original colony has reached its maximum capacity. This happens once a year. In the Philippines, swarming begins in May, at the onset of the rainy season, and lasts until late June. Hundreds of swarmers are produced with the important purpose of reproduction and expansion. The swarmers include both male and female alates. They live underneath the soil, near the surface, and wait for the right conditions to take flight. This intricate swarming process also happens in other termite colonies in the area.

When the conditions are right, the swarmers take flight into the air and pair off. Once paired, they shed their wings, mate, and find a new place to start a nest to populate. The flights are typically spread out over a few days, with a large one at the beginning, and smaller ones on subsequent days.

When do termites swarm?

Regardless of species, termites wait a day, following a rain shower, when the weather is overcast. Damp soil is necessary in the nest-building process for newly paired mates. Survival rates are higher when there is more humidity. Termites don’t necessarily have to be outside to swarm. Sometimes, they miscalculate and swarm indoors.

Termite swarms are a clear indication that a colony or colonies are thriving nearby. If you see a swarm close to your home or neighborhood, it’s important to do an inspection.

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