The good news is that spring is here. The bad news is that the Subterranean Termite Swarmers have arrived in Tampa Bay and they will continue on and off through April. Most people are well aware of termites and the major damage they can cause to your property. The term swarmers is not as well known.
Pest World states that “termites have been around for more than 120 million years. They are social insects and live in colonies that are usually located in the ground or in wood. Termites feed on the cellulose in wood and wood by-products, such as paper. They are estimated to cause $5 billion in property damage every year. What’s worse, this damage is not typically covered by homeowner’s insurance, and – because they tend to remain out of sight – their damage can go unnoticed for many years, until serious issues arise. Therefore, it’s important to understand the life cycle of termites, and the signs that a colony has taken up residence in your home”.
“Swarmers, also known as reproductives, have two pair of wings, which lie flat over the abdomen when not in use. In the springtime, after the last freeze – usually when temperatures reach about 70 degrees – the young adult male and female swarmers emerge from their nests in large groups. The female termites release ‘mating pheromones,’ much like perfume, to entice male termites. Once the male locates an alluring female, they break off their wings, symbolizing that they are a couple. The new couple then select a nest location, mate, and become king and queen of a new colony. The queen has been known to live for 30 or more years,” according to Pest World.
Swarmers are young female winged termites that invade homes in the springtime. They especially seek out buildings that have sustained damage from winter weather. Once swarmers have relocated to your home, the rest of the termite colony will soon follow.
Adult reproductive termites are dark-brown to blackish insects, about 3/8 inch-long. Commonly referred to as “swarmers”, the job of reproductive termites is to mate and start new colonies. Termite swarmers may or may not have wings, as their wings often are shed shortly after flight. Swarming termites are often confused with ants but can be distinguished by two simple characters. Termites lack the “pinched” waist of ants. Also, termite wings are equal in length, compared to ants that have distinctly longer front wings. Although termite swarmers can, occasionally, enter homes through open doors or windows, finding termite swarmers indoors is a reliable signal of infestation.
“Termites hang out wherever wood is found. Most yards, especially those in older, established neighborhoods, support termites. Signs of Termites
Swarms (and the shed wings left behind) are often one of the only outwardly visible signs of the existence of termites. Because of this, many people are under the misconception that termites are only a problem in the spring. However, some termite species – including subterranean termites – can remain active (though out of sight) year-round, especially in warmer climates. In these cases, termites can be at work, eating away at wood 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
With the exception of conehead termites, most termite species cannot crawl on the open ground like ants and other pests. Instead, they build mud tubes to travel between their colony and food sources. These mud tubes are another sign homeowners can use to identify the presence of termites near their homes. Homeowners should also be on lookout for cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. If you do see signs of termites in or near your home, it’s important to work with a professional to treat the infestation before serious damage is done. Termites are not a pest that can be treated with DIY measures,” reports Pest World.
Remember to keep soil and debris, stacked wood, etc. away from your home’s foundation.
It is highly recommended that you schedule routine termite inspections in your home and business to look for termites before they do any damage. A local experienced pest control company can perform the inspection at your convenience. Florida homeowners pay out hundreds of millions of dollars each year from termite damage. Are you able to recognize a termite problem and know what to do about it? Place a high priority of protecting your home from termites.
If you suspect a termite problem, contact a local experienced pest control company for an inspection immediately before they do anymore damage?
Drive-Bye Exterminators offers home and commercial pest control services in Clearwater, Florida, and the surrounding areas. Family owned and operated for over 25 years, Drive-Bye Exterminators has state certified inspectors and exterminators provide roach, subterranean termite, dry wood termite, roaches, spider, ant and flea services to both commercial and residential clients. Whether a business owner needs help getting rid of a termite infestation, or a homeowner wants to rid their kitchen of ants, Drive-Bye Exterminators offers each client the same level of professionalism and excellence.
Request a FREE Pest Control or Termite Inspection today with the Professionals of Drive-Bye Exterminators. Contact Us Today at 727-787-2127.