Around springtime, you might start noticing a new breed of flying insects, which may travel in swarms. These insects are the reproductive members of a termite colony looking to set up a new nest. They are known as swarmers, and their appearance can signal one of two things: there is a mature colony nearby, perhaps on your property, and it is sending out these swarmers, or the swarmers are trying to establish a nest on your property. Either way, it’s not a good sign.
The swarmers will fly out in a seemingly random pattern in the beginning, but they eventually pair off in male and female groups. After a short flight, the termites will land, shed their wings, and start looking for a place to nest. This is the only time when you get to see most termite species out in the open.
If they are successful, the two termites will start a nest underground, and the queen will start laying eggs. From these eggs, the majority of the colony is born, which is composed of blind workers that are tasked with building, finding food and other activities. Some eggs will also spawn into soldiers that are tasked with protecting the hive. The workers will start building out the nest and harvest wood for its cellulose.
Oftentimes, the damage caused by termites is not readily evident, and it is only revealed after careful inspection. However, you will be able to detect an infestation by searching for mud tubes, which are structures that the termites use to travel above ground. This is due to the fact that termites are very sensitive to light and prone to dehydration. The tubes are usually visible near the foundation of the home.
The best way to handle a termite infestation is through prevention. There are plenty of options out there, from liquid barriers, to baits and treated wood. You also want to schedule regular professional inspections for maximum protection.
Now that termite season has started, it’s best to make sure that your protection is up to par. Seeing swarmers does not necessarily mean that you have an infestation or that you will have one, but they are an indication that termites are interested in your property. With proper protection and inspection, termite infestations can be easily avoided. If you want to find out more about termite infestations during this potentially dangerous season, contact us today.