Another important factor is that in California all new construction comes with a 10 year builders' warranty per the statute called SB800. That law requires you to notify the builder in writing when you discover a problem, and if the builder wishes to preserve the protections provided to him by that law, he must respond promptly by inspecting and offering a plan to correct the situation.
Since you're in the first year of ownership, and that year begins upon close of escrow (and not upon completion of the home), the onus here is really upon the builder to make things right, whether directly or through his subcontractors. Yes, it's a good idea to have the property re-inspected, but I would definitely put the builder on notice (in writing) that you are looking to him to ensure that the property is sound, free of construction defects, and not already populated by termites. Even if the law doesn't absolutely require it, top quality builders will stand behind their product. Especially in the first year!
Also, ants are known for leaving the same kind of wings. It is hard to tell the difference unless you have actual insect.
Yes the builder is on the hook for one year to fix the problem, my experience is that dry wood termites are attracted to fresh cut wood going into new homes.
So the termites may have not been there when the home was built.
Termites 101 There are two types of termites that we typically see in the USA (though several varieties exist.):
1. Dry wood termites
2. Subterranean Termites
If there were a lot of wings
If the wings you saw were Subterranean, then they were in the dirt your house was built on. That would be my guess as dry wood termites would not have time to mature unless the builder used termite infested wood..
The earth around your house needs to be treated, and if you know how it is not too hard to do it yourself.
If you saw a lot of wings and they were dry wood termites, the house must have had some infected wood used in building. This is not likely. The best treatment for this is to find the wood and replace it. Many people would say to fumigate as well. Without seeing it, I would have a hard time telling you what to do on this.
If you saw say 2-10 wings then you have a recent infestation. Most of these die and do not take hold, look for any cracks near the wings they could have crawled into and torment them with some spray poison of almost any sort.
So your first step would be to get someone over to your house to expertly identify them they should licensed and be able to identify the termites and make sure you do not have ant wings. Tell you whether they were there when you bought the home or if it is a recent infestation.
When you purchased the property a termite inspection where done. Escrow should provide you with the report and asked for your review and signature.
Typically the termite company which did the original inspection provide a 2 years warranty. So if there is any indications of termite they should take care of it.
Also it will be a good idea to hire a different termite company to do a second inspection and provide you with a report which you can use incase if the original termite company mentioned that there is no indications of termite.
Usually this report by an independent termite company will coast you between $75 to $150. Hope this info can help you and feel free to contact me for further explanation or referrals.
451 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Suite D220
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Call / Text: 310 619 9712
The termite inspection and local treatment usually don't have a guarantee or warranty beyond that day. If they tented the home, then expect a one-year warranty, but since this was a new home, that doesn't seem likely.