While standing outside today I noticed two winged insects kind of floating in the air. One landed on my shoulder and I got a close look at it. It is, without a doubt, a termite swarmer. The body appeared very small and black with grayish wings that were much longer than its body. I am familiar with termite swarms living in South Carolina, but I'm used to seeing large numbers. This was in the early afternoon, so I'm thinking it is a subterranean termite swarmer.
Since there were only two, how naive am I being to assume they were carried on the wind from a tree or other structure? I've walked the entire perimeter of the house. There are no visible mud tubes. I've tapped the door frames and window sills with a screwdriver and none of the wood appears to be compromised.
I'm not looking to be negligent, but I also don't want to spend money unnecessarily. Ideally, Id like to have a termite inspection and get a pest control contract within the next few years, but I have some more pressing financial matters to attend to first. How much of an issue are a few flying termites outside and how much damage could be done if there were issues that weren't realized for a couple more years?
Thanks so much for any information.
Finding a few winged termites, or even many, is no reason for concern. Most will have come from a natural infestation. The best way to detect an infestation in a home is by annual inspections that you can do yourself or hire someone to do for you (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/inspect.html
). There's no reason to have regular pest control applications on a "calendar" bases, treat only when a problem is detected. Also, here are some articles about termites and termite control that might be useful: http://www.livingwithbugs.com/termite.html
. Post a follow up if you have questions.