The transition into the summer months not only brings about warmer weather but Formosan subterranean termite swarms as well. If you are unfamiliar with a Formosan termite swarm, this blog post will help you understand the what, when, and why’s of this non-native subterranean termite. Formosans were introduced to the United States through shipping after World War II. This species causes $300 million in damage just to the New Orleans area alone annually, according to the LSU Ag Center. Arceneaux Pest is here to help you get rid of the pests in your life so you can achieve peace of mind. Formosan subterranean termites are swarming for the first time in 2018, so it’s worth keeping an eye out! If you live in Louisiana, you should be particularly concerned about the damage and danger this represents. Formosans can cause 1,000 pounds of wood damage to a home in just one year!
What is a Swarm?
A termite swarm is a group of termites that begin to look for new colonies. It happens only after the colony has reached a certain size and the weather conditions become optimal. A termite swarm around your house can mean that there is already a colony of termites living in, or near your home. Swarming termites are attracted to light, and therefore you can often find them near windows or light fixtures. If you see a swarm near or around your house, it is best to call an exterminator immediately. Send a picture to us using our Get A Quote form and we will provide a free quote.
As a colony matures, it begins to produce swarmers (alates) with wings, whose sole purpose is reproduction and expansion. Both males and females can be swarmers. These alates live in the soil near the surface of their nest until the conditions are just right for takeoff. Once a female and male have paired, the couple will shed their wings, mate, and find a new home in the soil to begin a colony.
Tis the Season: Termite Swarming in 2018
Formosan subterranean termites usually swarm as the weather begins to get warmer and typically after a large downpour, which is right around this time of year. While not all termite colonies will swarm at the same time, it usually happens around the same time period. The timing of flight varies by humidity and temperature, with subterranean termites typically swarming in the spring and during daylight. However, Formosan termites start swarming start swarming at dusk and for several hours after dark. Formosan swarmers are amber in color, with two pair of wings that are equal in length. The swarmer’s body can be 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch long. Some factors that make for optimal swarming conditions include:
- Warm weather
- The days following a rain shower
- Overcast skies
- Winds under 6 mph
- Damp soil
These conditions could not describe a late spring or summer day in Louisiana better. This is why you should have your home inspected and treated by Arceneaux Pest.
How Can I Check?
A termite swarm is indicative of a termite infestation nearby. If you are noticing a swarm similar to what was described in this blog, it is time to be proactive. Having your home properly treated, keeping wood mulch at least one foot away from your foundation, and regular inspections of your home and property will help prevent such infestations or at least let you catch them early on. Termite swarmers are often confused with flying ants. If you look closely enough, you will be able to tell the difference because termite swarmers have two pairs of wings that are equal in length, while the ant has a pair that is shorter than the other pair. Ants have a visibly constricted waist between the thorax and abdomen and termites do not. If you find winged pests in your home, whether they are termites or ants, it is time to call the experts at Arceneaux Pest.
Ready Or Not, Here They Come. Protect Yourself Today.
Formosan subterranean termites are swarming in 2018, whether you are ready or not. If you think that you may have a termite infestation, get a free quote today. You can also call us at 225-791-9911 if you want to speak with an expert. Don’t wait, your wallet and house will thank you in the long-run!