When a termite colony gets too big it produces winged termites (swarmers) that are forced to leave the colony to start one of their own. The swarmers, also known as the reproductives, have 2 pairs of wings that lie flat over their abdomen. When the male and female swarmers leave the nest the female releases her mating pheromone to draw the male termite in. Once a male and female find each other they break off their wings as a sign they are together. The new couple then finds a new home and starts their colony.
A Swarmer is about ¾ inch in size and is larger than a winged ant. Termites have straight antennae and wide bodies that do not pinch at the waist like an ant.
SIGNS OF INFESTATION
Finding swarmers on the inside of your home indicates that a nest is near so you will want to have your home checked. A swarm only last for about 30 minutes and is usually around a light source. If they cannot make it to soil they will only live a few hours before dying of dehydration. Since they die off so quickly, and can easily be confused with a flying ant, it is important that you try to collect a few into a plastic bag so your termite inspector can see what you are dealing with.