What are termite swarmers?

Apr 12, 2024, 12:52 PM by Fred Speer

Termite swarmers, also known as alates, are reproductive termites that emerge from mature termite colonies to mate and establish new colonies. Swarming season for the subterranean termite, the most encountered termite in California, takes place on warm spring days, usually after it rains. Termite swarming is simply nature’s way of reminding you that termites are nearby.

Here are some signs that can indicate the presence of termites and termite swarmers:

Swarm sightings: Seeing swarms of flying insects, especially around light sources like windows, can indicate the presence of termite swarmers.

Discarded wings: After mating, termite swarmers shed their wings, which can be found near windows, doors, or other entry points. Finding discarded wings is a strong indicator of termite infestation.

Mud tubes: Subterranean termites build mud tubes to travel between their nest and a food source. These tubes can be found on walls, foundations, or other surfaces and can indicate your home has an active termite infestation.

Damaged wood: Termites feed on wood from the inside out, leaving behind a thin veneer of wood or paint. If you tap on wood and it sounds hollow, or if you notice a blistering or darkening of wood surfaces, it could be a sign of termite damage.

Where do termite swarmers come from?

To clear up any confusion about what termite swarmers are or aren’t, Clark, your friendly pest, rodent, mosquito, and termite control expert, has answered some of the most common questions you may have.

Where do swarmers come from?

Swarmers come from nearby underground nests. If most of the insects are found outdoors, then the nest is somewhere in your yard, near an old tree stump or landscape timbers. If you find swarmers inside your home, chances are you have an infestation under or inside your home.

What happens to swarmers?

In most cases, the termite swarmers simply die if they cannot escape from your house. They may be attracted to light and die on windowsills or open areas. Quite often you will only find dead insects or just the wings. If possible, collect some of the insects, or wings, so that you can have them identified by a pest management professional.

Do termite swarmers cause damage?

Swarming termites have one purpose – to reproduce and establish a new colony. In fact, they do not have the biting or chewing mouthparts that cause damage to your home. Several hundred swarmers are produced by each colony but only a small percentage of these survive to start a new colony.

Will eliminating swarmers fix the problem?

No. Termite swarmers are a nuisance, particularly when swarms occur indoors. However, they do not cause structural damage; that is done by the worker termites in a colony. Although eliminating swarmers eliminates the nuisance problem at hand, it doesn’t provide any protection from further termite activity, which may be causing severe damage to your home already.

What should you do if you find swarmers?

The first thing you need to do is confirm that your home does indeed have termites. Many species of ants also produce winged adults, and to the untrained eye, they look like winged termites. Contact a licensed pest management professional to come out and perform an inspection and make a positive identification.

Request a termite inspection

The first step to preventing termite issues is to have a free termite inspection of your home done by a licensed professional. Having a regular inspection performed will help identify conditions that encourage termite activity. If termites are found, getting an early diagnosis and taking corrective action sooner rather than later can help prevent more expensive treatments and costly repairs down the road.


Protecting your home from destructive termites is a priority at Clark Pest Control. We offer comprehensive free termite inspections conducted by highly trained inspectors, and if termites are found, we will deploy the latest innovative termite control products and application techniques to target and eliminate them.

For maximum protection against termites, consider scheduling a no-obligation home wellness inspection, which includes a complete termite inspection. You also can ask for information about our exclusive Clark Home Protection program, which is designed to protect your home from future infestations and damage caused by all species of termites.

Call California’s trusted, friendly termite control expert at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at to schedule your home wellness inspection.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.

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