As a pest control technician, I have found that pests each have a season. Every year that we go through, there are different pests that attack during different seasons. We find many rodents in the winter trying to find warmth in homes when it gets cold. We find ants come out in the spring looking for places to forage for food in like your pantry. Then there are bugs like cockroaches they have no specific time frame, but need to be dealt with year round. There is one insect that is particularly interesting, and yes it is seasonal, is the termite. And here we are again at termite season. This article will deal with termites and how to deal with them through this hectic season. 


Termites have a mating season. In the business we called this the swarming season. Termites are a social insect. These insects have a caste system that they use in order to take care of all of the situations in their life. The colony must have workers. These workers will forage for food, retrieve the food, build the nest, eliminate waste, feed other termites and the young and much more. There are also soldier termites who are very adept at protecting the colony. And then you have your reproductive‘s. The most well known of these reproductives is the queen. 

The queen is tasked with laying all the eggs necessary to keep the colony populated. Many termite colonies in Oklahoma number easily in the millions of individuals. That’s a lot of egg laying for one insect. In addition to the queen, we have other reproductions as well. These reproductives are known as alates. These elites are the only termites with wings. Because they have wings, they are known as swarmers. At the end of spring to the beginning of summer, these swarmers will exit the colony. The workers will build swarm tubes, which are specialized tubes that open out the open air. Call your Broken Arrow pest control company for more details.  


It’s important to understand that eastern subterranean termites, which of the termites we find in Oklahoma, are very fragile. They can dry out very easily. Because of this they need damp air you can only find underground. Therefore, when they need to forge the food above ground, they will build a series of mud tunnels to get above ground to do this. The swarmers are the only termites that are hardy enough to last for any length of time above ground. They have a tough outer exoskeleton that keeps them from drying out. 

These swarmers will exit the swarm tubes and fly around looking for a swarm of reproductives. This swarm will be made up of reproductives from colonies all over the area. It’s not yet known or understood as to how the colonies all know when it’s time to swarm, or synchronize their swarming activities with each other. What is known is that somehow all the swarmers will come out at the same time. When they do, a male reproductive and a female reproductive from different colonies will pair up, and once they do, they will mate mid flight. After the mating process, they will land somewhere and find an adequate place to create a new colony. 

At this point, they will lose their wings, and then dig underground. They will excavate out a royal chamber that will serve as a home base for the new colony. Immediately, the female will start to lay eggs. She is the new queen of this colony. The king will continue to forage for food, tend to the eggs and do other menial work that the workers would normally do. As the eggs hatch, the new adults will become the new worker termites in the colony. Once enough worker termites have hatched from these eggs, the king will die, and then a new colony has been born. Your Broken Arrow exterminator can help.  


The Swarmers are subject to a lot of predication. Termites are not the best flyers.  Because they swarm in such large numbers, birds and other flying predators can easily swoop in and eat the alates. In many cases, a very small percentage of reproductives actually get to the point at which they can meet and create a new colony. Most end up dying by the wayside. In some cases, colonies find themselves underneath a building. It could be your home or your business. When this happens the swarm tubes will come up somewhere inside your home. In this case, reproductives will come out in your home and try to get to the swarm of alates from other colonies outside. The swarmers will find themselves trapped indoors usually by window in their attempt to get outside. They will not survive and die in the window. 

Because of this, if you find dead termites or termite wings in a window in your home or business, you have probably got a problem with termites. If a termite colony is producing swarm tubes and swarmers inside your home, it is very likely that they are also sending up mud tubes to forage for food inside your home. This means that you have an infestation somewhere in your home, and structural wood is probably being damaged. Our homes and businesses are made with a lot of wood that compromise the structural components of these buildings. Because of this, it’s important that if you see any kind of mud tubes or winged termites in your windowsills, you get this checked out by a Tulsa exterminator right away. They will be able to identify if you have a termite issue and get you the appropriate treatment. 


If you’re having a problem with termites or any other pest, TermMax Pest Control is the best solution for you. We are the number one Tulsa pest control company in the state. We service the greater Tulsa area including Owasso, Claremore, Pratville, Sapulpa, Sand Springs, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, Catoosa, Turley, Coweta and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!

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