One evening soon, you will get a good indicator of the level of termite threat to your home from the number of swarmers you see.
Swarming occurs in spring and early summer so, if you are sitting outside one warm and humid evening and you see these fluttering insects, have a look at their wings for a positive identification. Termites usually drop theirs soon after landing and the forewings and hind wings are the same size and over 10mm long. If there are only dozens of them it indicates there is a colony somewhere nearby. If there are hundreds, the nest is much closer; thousands means it is on your property or your next door neighbour’s. Time to get a torch and see if you can find where they are flying from.
Once these ‘teenage’ termites land, they excavate a ‘cave’ beside any wood they find in soil.
The pair will tend the first batch of eggs themselves, all of which will grow a bit larger in a series of moults, to become workers. These workers take over egg-tending, regurgitating wood to feed the nymphs and the ‘royals’ so the nobs can spend all their time making babies they don’t have to look after.
If the soil dries out or if they have chosen a piece of wood that is too small, they will not survive the first critical summer. It takes 3-5 years for a nest to develop into a size that will pose a significant threat to homes and other structures.
Some colonies will become a threat even if over 99% don’t.
Because this happens every spring all over Australia, you should take a long term view in defending your home. By giving termite scouts some monitors or Traps to find, you have a great chance of intercepting them outside before they find a gap through barriers, etc., to the inside of your buildings.
I makes you wonder why so many home owners gamble their biggest asset against a small, once-in-a-decade outlay of a few hundred dollars.