Termites, What You Need to Know


A swarm is an indicator that a termite colony is present and a termite inspection should be scheduled. Termite swarmers are often confused with flying ants. It is important to have a sample to be positively identified by a qualified professional.

Why Do Termites Swarm?

Termite swarmers are a natural part of the reproduction cycle of a termite colony. While often viewed as a nuisance, termite swarms are an indicator that a colony is present and trying to expand by developing winged male and female reproduction swarmers called “alates.”

What Time of Year Do Termites Swarm in South Carolina?

Termite swarmers typically occur during the Spring season in South Carolina, between the months of February and May. This event is usually triggered by warmer outside weather conditions. In early spring when the weather warms up and there is a period of rain, you may encounter one or more of these events.

Can Swarming Termites Cause Damage?

No - termite swarmers cannot cause damage to a structure; their primary goal is reproduction. Termite damage is caused by wingless worker termites. Those types of termites are usually found consuming wood framing in your walls and the structural timbers within a crawl space.

Did you know…Termites cost U.S. property owners over $5 billion each year

How Can You Tell the Difference between Flying Ants and Flying Termites?


  • Look for two sets of equal length wings
  • Wings are both, twice the length of the body and break off when the termite lands.
  • Broad waist or thick waist
  • Straight antenna that looks like they are comprised of tiny beads.


  • Two sets of wings are unequal in length
  • Wings are only slightly longer than the body and remain attached to the ant
  • Slender waist/narrow waist three (3) part body
  • The antenna are elbowed

When to Call for a Termite Inspection

Because of the biology and behavior of termite swarmer, they are difficult to spot. Swarming activity will eventually cease when the colony has released all the swarmers it has produced. As stated previously, we recommend a termite specialist provide an estimate for full termite treatment.

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