Termite swarm season is here. “I wish I had known” is the number one thing we hear from new customers, especially those who have termite damage. What do they wish they had known? The importance of a termite agreement and an annual inspection from a reputable company.
Swarming is a natural part of the termite life cycle. It is nature’s way of telling us there is termite activity around your house. While not all swarmers are indicators of termite activity in your home, if you find them it is best to call a licensed exterminator to inspect. Termite swarmers have no biting or chewing mouthparts and do not cause any damage to your home. Their goal is to start new colonies in and around your home which in turn can cause damage.
If you find swarmers in your home, do not panic. However, you should immediately call a licensed and trained expert to inspect and verify the source of the swarmers. The source is either 1) An infestation in your home or 2) Significant termite activity close to your home including inside trees.
Eastern Subterranean Termites generally swarm from late March to April. The most aggressive species of Subterranean Termites in the Lowcountry is Formosan Subterranean Termites. Every year from late May through June, Formosan Termites swarm in the Lowcountry.
Mature Formosan Termite colonies produce swarmers that fly out of colonies by the thousands. There could be 70,000+ in any given evening flying towards lights in and around homes. Many people mistake these “hovering clouds” of swarmers for gnats or other flying insects.
Historically, greater than 95% of the termite swarmers we find inside homes originated from outside of the home and not from an infestation in the home. However, this should not make you feel secure or take swarmers lightly. It is not “if” but “when” you will have an infestation in the Lowcountry. In fact, you could have a hidden termite infestation in your home doing damage for several years before it is discovered. On the other hand, Formosan Termites have the ability to cause thousands of dollars in damage in just a few months. This is not a risk a homeowner can afford to take. It is estimated that Formosan Termites are causing as much as 75 to 100 million dollars in damage to structures in the Lowcountry each year. Keep your home protected by a reputable termite company that has experience with and covers Formosan Termites. Stay aware this swarm season.