SwarmersPicDriving down desert roads early on the morning following an evening of monsoons, you may see something that looks similar to columns of smoke rising from the medians or the soil along the road. You have just encountered “desert swarmers.” The rains compel the ants and termites to begin their swarming season. The columns of smoke are really thousands of winged ants and termites.


These winged future kings and queens of new ant and termite colonies are seeking a date. Both the male and female reproductives take the monsoon as their alarm clock to mix with those of other colonies.


You are looking at thousands of insects, but the odds of any one swarm resulting in a successful king and queen starting a new colony are exceedingly small. Each colony will produce several swarms during the monsoon season. The large number of colonies swarming eventually produce a successful “couple.”  The rest of the swarmers eventually die.


Swarms are not limited to your morning drive. Swarmers are present in many desert places. You might see them in your own yard or on rare instances in your home or wall void too. They are attracted to light and you can see large numbers around a porch light in the early evening.


If you look closely, you could actually see a dozen different species sparing for their moment in the spotlight. Though this should not cause alarm, the swarming pests spotted on your property or in your home should be investigated by a professional.  Call University Termite and Pest Control to have one of our experts identify your swarmers and recommend treatment.

*photo from http://www.npmapestworld.org/news/documents/PestGazettespring2012.pdf

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