When Are Termite Swarms a Threat to Your Home

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Termite swarm season is mid-March through early June, but just because you see them near your home doesn’t necessarily mean your home is infested with termites.

The purpose of a termite swarms is for the termites to find a new place to make a colony and mate. Swarmers do not cause direct damage to the structure of your home; however, their offspring will do so upon maturity.

Termite Swarmers

Termite swarmers are also easily mistaken for ant swarmers. Many species of ants swarm in the springtime, so it’s important to note the difference because the treatment methods are very different. A termite swarmer has a beaded antenna, broad, straight waistline and two pairs of similar wings. An ant swarmer will have elbowed antennae, small waist and two pairs of dissimilar wings.

Experts advise people to not waste time trying to spray swarmers with pesticides; instead, it’s better to check for signs of an infestation in your home and then take appropriate treatment action.

Key Signs of Infestation

Signs of an infestation include mud tubes, damaged wood, or small bugs escaping through exposed wood or fixtures in your home. Make sure the swarmers are entering from outside the home if you see them. If bugs are entering or exiting inside the home, through exposed wood or fixtures, then there may be an infection. Close off the room in which termites are swarming, use a vacuum to remove them, and note locations where they’re emerging. Then, call a pest control professional to discuss treatment options.

How to Prevent Termites

Homeowners can prevent termites by eliminating moisture in and around the home. Termites need moisture to survive. Rain falling off the house and puddling around the home creates good drainage for termites, also check AC drain lines that provide constant moisture. Fix any roofing or plumbing leaks, since Formosan termites are prone to taking advantage of damaged roofs.

Another good preventative measure to take would be to eliminate any wood-to-house contact. If you collect wood for bonfires or anything of that nature, be sure to keep it as far from your home as possible. You can get termite shields, but these do not always work.

Lastly, eliminating your light pollution is a good step to prevent swarmers. Formosan termites, who swarm mainly at night, are attracted to light. So, try to keep as few lights on as possible.

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