Termites swarming around your home might seem like a scene from a sci-fi movie, but it’s a common event crucial for the survival and expansion of termite colonies. Let’s delve into what termite swarms are, when they occur, and how you can prevent and manage them.
What is a Termite Swarm?
Termite swarms, also known as alates, are a natural phenomenon in the life cycle of termites. These winged termites emerge from established colonies with the primary goal of reproducing and establishing new nests. When you spot swarming termites in or around your home, it’s a clear indication of a well-established termite colony nearby.
These swarms typically occur when the termite colony reaches a certain size and the weather conditions are optimal for flight.
When Do Termites Appear and for How Long?
Contrary to popular belief, termite swarm in house can cause damage at any time, not just during swarming season. Spring is the prime swarming season for most subterranean termites, occurring on warm days with calm winds after rainfall.
Why Do Termites Swarm?
When a termite colony is ready to expand and reaches capacity, it swarms. This typically happens once a year, and the swarmers, both males and females, are produced for the sole purpose of reproduction and expansion. When conditions are right, they launch into the air, pair off, shed their wings, mate, and seek new locations to start a nest.
When Do Termites Swarm?
The timing of termite swarms varies among species. Regardless of the species, most termites prefer swarming on days following rain, with overcast weather and winds under 6 mph.
Drywood Termite Swarms
Swarms of drywood termites are usually smaller, with less than 100 swarmers. They occur during late summer or fall, and while they might not be as noticeable, you might find discarded wings near window sills after a swarm.
Dampwood Termite Swarms
Dampwood termites, swarming in the summer, are less of a concern for homeowners as they rarely nest inside homes.Identifying signs of damp wood termites and reducing moisture around your property is essential.
Check for an Infestation
Termite swarms indicate a flourishing colony nearby, prompting homeowners to inspect their homes if they spot a swarm. Various subterranean termite species swarm at different times, with some preferring more moisture than others. It’s crucial to be vigilant and act promptly. If you spot a termite swarm outside your home, it’s crucial to take immediate action to prevent these destructive insects from infiltrating your property.
Termite Activity During Summer Months
Summer marks a shift in subterranean termite activity from swarming to foraging and eating. The workforce becomes smaller due to seasonal conditions, but the secondary queens kick in with increased egg production. Predictable weather, warm soil, and abundant food contribute to a more settled termite colony during summer.
Termites Swarming: A Vital Reproductive Cycle
Termites swarm during spring or early summer, triggered by temperature, humidity, and light conditions. The swarming behaviour is a vital part of their reproductive cycle, with winged reproductive termites, or alates, emerging from established colonies to find mates and establish new colonies.
4 Types of Termite Species and Swarming Frequencies
Different termite species exhibit distinct swarming habits:
- Subterranean Termites: Common and economically significant, they usually swarm once a year, primarily in spring or early summer.
- Drywood Termites: Can swarm multiple times throughout the year, often in late summer or early fall.
- Dampwood Termites: More common in moist environments, they typically swarm during summer.
- Formosan Termites: Aggressive and destructive, they can swarm multiple times a year, especially during warm and humid months.
Top 4 Factors Influencing Swarming Frequency
Several factors influence termite swarming:
- Environmental Conditions: Ideal conditions of temperature, humidity, and light trigger swarming.
- Colony Maturity: Older and larger colonies are more likely to produce swarms.
- Population Density: High density within a colony increases the likelihood of swarming.
- Competing Colonies: The presence of nearby competing colonies can influence swarming behaviour.
How Long Termites Swarm Lasts?
A termite swarm typically lasts 30-40 minutes, and the flying termites are attracted to light sources. If you observe a termite swarm or find discarded wings, seeking professional assistance from a licensed pest control company like Pestico is crucial. You can prevent termite damage to your house with a thorough inspection and proper treatment.
How to Prevent Termite Infestation
Termite prevention involves two steps: treating known colonies and preventing access to your home. Follow these steps:
- Annual Inspections: Have a qualified expert conduct annual termite inspections.
- Property Conditions: Work with professionals to address conditions that attract termite activity.
- Treatment Plan: Determine effective termite control methods based on your property’s construction and signs of termite activity.
- Eliminate Access Points: Seal gaps around water and gas lines, reduce wood-to-ground contact and discard cellulose materials around your house.
Pest control experts can design a unique program tailored to your situation, providing a strategic solution to keep these destructive insects out of your home. Don’t let termite swarms take you by surprise – take proactive measures to protect your home and property.
In conclusion, termite swarming is a natural occurrence that homeowners should be aware of to safeguard their homes. Regular inspections, prompt action, and professional assistance can go a long way in preventing and managing termite infestations.