The signs of spring are beginning all around us. Not only does spring bring birds, blooms, and baseball, it also bring bothersome pests! Many insects spend the winter in a state of hibernation and emerge as the temperatures warm up. Once out of hibernation, it’s time to mate and produce new offspring for the season. In the case of ants and termites, this can often be seen as a mating swarm, or reproductive flight. We’ve already had calls about termite swarms. Are you ready?
Social insects, such as ants and termites, are organized into various castes, with each group having a particular function. Workers make up the largest group, and consist of only females. The workers are the ants you see at your picnic or the termites you find when you break open a piece of old wood. Another caste is the reproductives. These are both male and female winged insects and include the “kings” and “queens” of future colonies. At certain times of the year, one being the spring, these “reproductives” leave their nests all at the same time looking for a mate. This emergence of large numbers at a time is called a “swarm”. When a homeowner sees this occurrence inside the home, it can be very frightening.