How to Kill Swarming Termites
Winged termites only swarm during certain times of year, when they are breeding.
It's sometimes hard to differentiate between a swarming ant and a termite: A swarming ant will have three body parts and a bent antennae, as well as four wings; a swarming termite has one body part, an antennae that's straight, and four wings. Seeing them outdoors doesn't mean you have a problem, but if they are inside, it might be best to get your home inspected by a pest-control company. They have a variety of methods for killing the insects.
Leave any evidence of swarming termites alone if you find them indoors. Don't clean it up. Call your pest-control company so they can take a look at the evidence. They will be able to tell what type of termite it is, where it could be located and what type of colony it is. All of these things are necessary to know when figuring out how to handle swarming termites.
Fumigate the structure, which has been the only sure way to get rid of swarming termites for over 40 years. When a pest-control company fumigates your house, they put a tent over it and pump in a gas sulfuryl fluoride to kill the termites. All plants, animals and any other living creatures must be removed from the house before the fumigation begins. Since sulfuryl fluoride is a gas, there is no need to clean the surfaces of the interior once the house is occupied again.
Apply heat from a high-output propane heater. The area that is infested with termites is usually sealed off with sheets of vinyl before the heat is applied. Objects that will be affected by the high temperatures are removed from the area to be treated. After a lethal dose of heat has been reached, the treated area is then cooled and can be occupied immediately.
Inject insecticide into wood through small drilled holes. This type of treatment has been around since the 1920s. The insecticide reaches the colony through the holes; it's the easiest form of termite treatment. The insecticide that's injected into the wood remains active to kill any further termite colonies that may try to infest the area.
Electrocute termites with a probe. A handheld "gun" emits a high voltage and low current as it is passed over the infested area. This electrocutes the swarming termites that are located in a particular area.
Replace the wood that's been infested with swarming termites. This method of ridding yourself of termites is useful if the infestation area can be easily located and the wood easily removed. When replacing the infested wood, make sure to remove any areas around it that look as if termites have moved in.
Call a pest-control company if you're unsure if you have ants or termites.
For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.