Have you ever seen a termite swarm? Maybe you have, and didn't realize it. If you've ever seen hundreds of bugs flying around a street light, there is a good chance you've seen a termite swarm. Termite swarmers are attracted to light. And, in spring and fall, when swarmers take flight in search of a new site to build a colony, their dark fluttering clouds can be seen around all types of exterior lighting. If you are a homeowner, this can be a horrifying sight.
As spring approaches and the temperatures and humidity become right for termite swarming, here are some signs you can look for, to protect your home.
During this reproductive swarming ritual male and female termites lose their wings. You will find these long thin translucent wings on window sills, walkways and other exterior surfaces.
After a swarm you may also find a few termites roaming around outside. These insects look like flying ants, only they do not have the three distinct body parts of an ant. Their bodies are more of a stretched out pill shape.
The most dangerous termite is the subterranean termite. When these termites swarm your property, they will build mud tubes on your foundation walls. These vain-like tubes protect workers from the drying effects of the wind and sun as they travel in and out of your wall voids. When searching for these tubes remember to look in secluded and hard to see places like under stairwells, behind shrubs and bushes, and under decks and patios.
If you have mulch around your home, peel up a section and look for termite activity. They will appear as a sheet of sh iny winged insects.
Look for outside wood damage. If a swarm has chosen your property, you may find exterior objects like wood fences, deck railings and other wood structures, marred by gouges.
Putting your ear to the wall can sometimes reveal activity in your wall voids. Termites communicate with each other through pheromones and vibrations created by the banging of their heads on tunnel floors. If termites are talking to each other, you can sometimes hear it.
If you find termites on your property, contact a professional pest control company. This insect can cause thousands of dollars in damages to a man made structure, and often without the property owner being aware that a problem exists. Don't get caught off guard by termites. Get a termite plan in place to detect these wood eating insects before they can eat away at your equity. Owning a home is large investment. Protect yours.