Seeing flying bugs around your home can be unnerving. Are you only seeing harmless flies, or is it a sign of something more concerning like flying termites? There are quite a few winged insects that aren’t cause for alarm, but swarming termites are a red flag that you definitely shouldn’t ignore. 

Guard your home from a potentially devastating and expensive infestation by scheduling a termite inspection with Smash Pest Control today. Give us the chance to SMASH your pest problem and exceed your expectations. Call us now at 615-581-7473 or click here to request your next service.

What Are Termite Swarms?

Termite colonies are highly organized, with different castes of termites working together. Each caste fulfills a specific role, which is crucial for the colony’s long-term survival. The reproductive caste features the king and queen – the original royal pair that founded the colony. A single queen is capable of laying thousands of eggs a day.

Together, the king and queen serve as the primary reproductives. Their sole responsibility is to mate and ensure the colony’s survival by producing eggs. Some species may also have secondary reproductives, next in line to take the throne if the primary queen dies.

The soldier caste is responsible for defending the colony against threats. Their large mandibles are designed to ward off predators like ants and other insects, but they cannot feed themselves and rely on workers for food. Workers make up the majority of the colony and they have the biggest workload. They forage for food, feed other members of the colony, care for the young, build and repair the nest, and maintain the colony’s tunnels.

There is a subset of the reproductives called alates. These winged termites are both male and female, and their main purpose is to fly the nest, mate, and establish new colonies. The alates are the termites you’ll see during a swarm. Once they find a mate, they shed their wings.

How Are Termite Swarms Different From Flying Ants?.

original infographic on different types of flying insects

It’s easy to mistake termite swarms for flying ants. To the untrained eye, they’re similar in appearance, but there are subtle differences that can help identify the pest in question:

✓ The body shape.

Termites have straight antennae and a broad waist that blends into their body. On the other hand, flying ants have bent antennae and a pinched waist separating their head and thorax from their abdomens.

✓  The wings.

The wings on both flying insects can help distinguish them. Termites have four wings that are equal in size. Flying ants have two unequal pairs of wings. Their front wings are noticeably larger than their back wings.

✓  The time of year.

Termite swarms usually occur in spring and are triggered by warm temperatures and humidity, while flying ants typically swarm in late summer or early fall.

The size of the swarm.

Termite swarms tend to be much larger and far more organized than flying ants.

When Do Termite Swarms Happen?

Termite swarms can vary depending on the species, with some swarming in the spring and others in the fall. But in Middle Tennessee, you’ll most likely encounter swarms from subterranean termites, the most common culprit.

These unwelcome visitors typically emerge from their colonies during the springtime, between March and June.

The timing of a termite swarm isn’t random. Termites take advantage of ideal weather conditions to maximize their chances of finding a mate and establishing a new colony. Termite swarms are more likely to occur on warm, humid days with minimal wind so that they can protect their delicate wings.

Are Flying Roaches Common in Middle Tennessee?

Several species of roaches have wings, but not all are capable of flight in the traditional sense. American and German cockroaches are most common in White House and neighboring areas. American cockroaches are decent fliers, especially in short ranges. German cockroaches aren’t strong fliers and may glide short distances to escape danger.

Both species would much prefer to scurry on the ground than take flight – even if there’s a threat nearby. If you see a swarm of insects, it’s highly unlikely that it’s a swarm of roaches. To be sure, reach out to Smash Pest Control. We can come out to your home to make a proper identification and take care of the pest that’s bugging you.

Termite Swarms Could Spell Trouble

Termites can cause extensive damage to your property and leave you with a big repair bill. The best course of action is to take a preventative approach and schedule annual termite inspections.

Reach out to Smash Pest Control for expert termite control services today. Request a free inspection now or call us at 615-581-7473.