Are your Subterranean Termites Busting at the Seams

Winged termite

A termite ready to fly and start a new colony! Credit: Derek Keats, Flickr

Subterranean termites “swarm” as the weather begins to warm, usually at the beginning of spring after a rain event. They are a group of termites looking to begin their own, new colony.
Another factor that triggers swarming, is the maturity of a colony. A matured colony is when a caste has grown so large in size, that it is time to branch out and start their own sub colonies. At this point the matured colony has about 1 Million plus termites. There is no specific age at which a termite colony swarms, but subterranean termite colonies typically do not produce a swarm until they are at least three years old.

Termite swarmers can sometimes be confused with swarmer ants. Termite swarmers have two pairs of wings that are equal in length, while one pair of the swarmer ant’s wings is shorter than the other pair. An inspection by a licensed termite inspector can help you identify the difference between the two.


If you find winged insects swarming in your home there is a good chance you or your neighbor’s home is sitting on a matured colony. Subterranean termite colonies are one of the largest in size and can cause severe damage to your home. They can cause more damage to homes in U.S. than storms and fire combined. In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association, termites cost Americans more than $5 billion in damages annually.

A typical subterranean colony will consume about 7 pounds of wood per year. Termite treatments done by professionals like Best Rate Termite are reasonably effective in helping to control. When it comes to subterranean termites you have a couple treatment options. An application of a chemical to the soil forming a continuous barrier around the perimeter of the home. This treatment can be done in a couple of different ways. Foundational treatment is the application of termiticide to a foundation setting up a barrier against the termites. The objective is to place termiticide in all cracks at the footing as well as through the cracks in the foundation wall which may lead to the ground outside. Treating the inside of hollow concrete walls is an example of foundational treatment. The foundations are generally of three types: Slab, Basement, and Crawl space.

All three types of construction will require specialized treatment to form this chemical barrier. Treatment outside the structure may involve trenching and treating or rodding to treat the soil on the outside of the foundation, rodding beneath slabs, or vertical drilling and treating of outside slabs, stoops or porches. Treatments inside may involve trenching and treating the soil along foundation walls in crawl spaces, vertical drilling and treating slab foundations, rodding around bath traps and other utility openings, or treating wood directly.

If you have inspects flying around your home and you are not sure if they are termites, call Best Rate Repair & Termite at 619-229-0116 and we will come out and provide you with a free termite inspection. You will then receive a detailed report listing all of our findings and recommendations to eradicate the problem.