Eastern Subterranean termites, the species most commonly found in New Jersey, usually begin to swarm in early spring. Particularly warm and wet winters can result in earlier swarm times, but there is no definitive start date for swarming season. Termites may swarm multiple times in a season, often with a large initial swarm, and smaller subsequent swarms to follow. During swarm season, winged reproductive termites from established colonies emerge from the ground to mate and establish new colony locations.
How do I know if I have a termite swarm?
Swarming subterranean termites are dark brown to black in color with two distinct body parts and translucent wings that resemble fish scales. Eastern Subterranean termites typically swarm during the daylight hours and in very large numbers (think thousands!), making their presence hard to miss. You may also find piles of wings on your front doorsteps or on windowsills if termites have already found a mate and shed their wings.
Winged termites are sometimes mistaken for flying ants, but there are a few ways to tell them apart. Swarming termites have two pairs of wings that are equal in length whereas flying ants have two sets of differently sized wings. Winged ants also have three body parts, unlike termites who only have two. Termite swarmers are also slightly smaller than winged ants and have straight antennae as opposed to the bent antennae found on ants. Still, if you see any winged insects swarming inside or outside your home, it is always advisable that you seek the opinion of a reputable pest management firm to properly identify the pests.