We received an old chair with a faux leather top/base & wooden legs from a neighbor & placed it in a bedroom near the window. A few weeks after we had it in the house we noticed very small gnat-like bugs hear & there flying around. In the following days we noticed a good amount flying near the window & ceiling. They appeared to have black & white wings & a black body. We got rid of the chair altogether & thinking they were just gnats/flies we sucked them all up with the vacuum. Now I think they may have been termites & I am very concerned that they have gotten into more areas of our home! I don't see any at all since we threw the chair out but how can I be sure they are gone? Any help would be appreciated. Is there something I can spray inside just to be cautious & if so, where would I spray it? Thanks, Emily
What you're describing sounds very much like a termite swarm and in fact is a classic way for them to spread. Now if the home is a slab construction and the room in which the chair was present when you had the swarm was at the slab level, I would be very concerned. But if the house has a basement or if the room was the second or higher level above the bottom, slab level, my level of concern would diminish. Still, a treatment would be warranted. Here's why.
If you review our TERMITE CONTROL ARTICLE, you'll learn the swarmers are reproductive termites. Basically males and females. These guys want to mate and start a new nest. And they need soil or someplace damp and moist to start a new nest. Of course if it's drywood termites, they don't need moisture and can easily start a nest anywhere in wood and this species should not be ruled out.
So if the chair was on a ground level, sitting on a cement chair, some swarmers could have mated and burrowed down to the ground under the slab to start a new nest. Eventually the nest will generate workers which in turn will forage out looking for cellulose (wood) and that's when your house would come under attack.
But if the chair was in a room far above the ground, the mating termites would have needed some place moist in which to start a nest like a window frame, wall void or some place around a pipe like a drain line or AC line which generates condensation. No doubt in this second scenario the odds are stacked against the termites compared to the first case but nests can develop and the risk not ignored. So what should you do?
If the chair was at ground level on a slab, I would recommend making sure the home is treated. If it hadn't been treated in the past 5 years, do so with some TERMIDOR which you'll find listed in our article. I'd also followup by treating all the cracks and crevices in the room with some PHANTOM. If done properly, both treatments would put in place a defensive barrier that would protect your home in case there is a nest developing somewhere.
And if the chair was at least one level above the ground, I'd still treat with the Phantom in the room where the chair was sitting. No doubt the vacuuming removed the bulk of the swarmers but it's not the ones you can easily see that cause the problem; it's the ones that mate and run to hide out of sight that cause issues.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Termite Control: http://www.termites-swarming.com/termite-control