Even though it’s still cool in the mornings, Spring is in full swing! That means a lot of different things; the birds are chirping more and more, half of us can hardly breathe due to allergies, and all the insects and other critters are all moving about working on mating rituals and the like. We’ve talked about this before with carpenter ants specifically, but one of the mating rituals that can really become a nuisance to us and our property is swarming termites. Seeing a swarm near your home could indicate that there are termites present at your property.
In early Spring, colonies of subterranean termites that are healthy enough to produce reproductive members do so in preparation of their mating season. These “winged” members of the colony all take to the sky (or your living room) looking for suitable mates from other colonies that have also taken to the sky. They meet in the air, break off their wings, mate, then find a new home to start a colony. Certain conditions will trigger this annual event, and we’ve already received a bunch of calls to prove that it’s already happening this year.
Subterranean termites can be found throughout most of the country, but are heavily concentrated in the Southeast. It can be quite intimidating to witness one of their swarms as they could number in the thousands. Different species of termites, like Formosan termites, swarm later in the year and will swarm at night. Subterranean termites swarm during the day and the swarmers are essentially harmless, unless they find a mate and start a new colony…then you’re obviously talking about some potential damage. It’s estimated by the National Pest Management Association that termites cause over $5 billion in damages per year in the United States alone.
If you believe you’ve seen swarming termites around your house, the best thing to do is call a proper professional for an inspection. There are ways to identify termites and differentiate them from flying ants, but unless you’re experienced enough and confident in your identification skills, it’s best to leave it to a professional pest management company. If an infestation is found, typically the cost of an inspection will be backed out of any treatment costs that you may incur. The picture to the right shows an ant on the left and two termites on the right. You can see differences in their body shape, the color and shape of their wings, antenna, and more.
You can always call Venus Pest Company with any questions about swarming termites and termite control.