Can Termites Swarm After Treatment?

Post-Treatment Swarming

Swarming termites, also known as alates, are mature termites seeking mates. They do not eat wood, unlike their destructive worker counterparts. The presence of these flying reproductives indicates nearby colonies and can be a nuisance if they swarm indoors. The appearance of these pests following professional termiticide treatments, however, does not mean that the treatment was ineffective.

Why Do Termites Swarm?

Alates begin as nymphs and develop wings over time. These termites leave the nest during spring, usually following rain because the pests need moisture to survive. Reproductives will pair with mates, lose their wings, and begin new colonies.

Was the Treatment Effective?

Post-treatment termite swarms are not uncommon and may occur up to around four weeks after an effective treatment. The goal of termiticide use is to create mortality among the workers and the other caste members of the termite colony, weaken the colony, and eventually eliminate it. The occurrence of post-treatment swarms can mean the colony is still producing alates, even though it is weakened. Also, alates can withstand much drier environments than workers and can be found still living in the colony after an effective treatment.

What Should Homeowners Do?

Swarming termites will lose their wings and die if they cannot escape homes. This is not necessarily a sign of failed treatment, but individuals should contact local pest control experts for more information and a further explanation should they encounter post-treatment swarming.