What Came First, the Queen or the Swarmer?
Hello, dog lovers and “dog blog “fans. This is you’re your old pal “Hunter”, Loyal Termite & Pest Control’s faithful Termite, and now, Bedbug K-9 Detective. I’m officially back at the typewriter pawing out the first of many informative and interesting blogs about my favorite subject material; termites and household pests. Generally the regional pests that negatively affect our Residential, Commercial and Industrial customers. I’ll be providing you with information about what pests are prevalent in our Central Virginia Region, what their habits are, how you can identify them, and how Loyal Company can be your partner is lessening the effect these regional pests have on your day to day life.
Since getting back from Florida, I have been running a very busy schedule with David Anderson, my handler, in sniffing out unseen bedbugs for our customers. Bedbugs have become a real problem in our area. Soon, in addition to running a busy bedbug schedule, David and I will be back out running appointments with me sniffing around concrete slabs, as well as, dwellings without a crawl space; discovering the hiding places of home wrecking termites.
This brings me to the subject of this blog; subterranean termite swarmers or alates. You know the old question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg”? If this question was applied to the termite world, it would be, “What came first the Queen termite or the female swarmer?” Our phones have been ringing since late January with folks inundated with these little flying ant-like creatures. The accompanying illustration will help you identify what you are dealing with. Ants are very similar to termites in their reproductive life cycle. That’s where the similarities end. As adults they are mortal enemies. An adult ant will kill an adult termite in a skinny minute. OK, they are also similar in they both are committed to their Queen, and they are highly social within their colony, but that’s it. Do take note of this illustration. If you catch one, look at it closely. If it is a swarmer this means there is an established termite colony present. Here’s what happening.
Periodically, mature termite colonies produce a brood of winged reproductive offspring called swarmers or alates. These winged termites fly in large numbers to disperse and initiate new colonies. Flights of these termite swarmers (or piles of their shed wings) are often the first sign to the homeowner of the infestation. Swarmers are not a danger to structures; most will die of dehydration if they fly inside. However, a fight of swarmers indicates a healthy termite colony nearby, and the problem should be investigated; especially if the swarmers are found inside.
If there is a problem try to remember this little jingle; “Who ya’ gonna call? Call LOYAL!!” That sounded good. One more time. “Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call LOYAL!!”
I will continue with the Swarmer Story in my next blog. Until then remember my mantra?
When it comes to termite and pest control, Hunter says, “If you got ‘em, we’ll get ‘em.
Thank you for joining me. I’ll be barking at you next time. Ruff! Ruff!