We've been receiving a large number of calls from our customers
in Florida and Georgia reporting termite swarms. And really it
comes as no surprise since the hotter temps and heavy rains have
created the perfect conditions for swarming. Even the Florida
Department of Agriculture's Entomology Bureau has taken notice,
marking 2009 a banner year for termites.
Swarm season usually begins in March and can last through early
June. Swarming occurs when termites decide to expand their
territory and leave their nests to create new colonies. Not
surprisingly, termites become most visible when they swarm -
especially if the swarm happens inside your home.
It's very common for homeowners to mistake destructive termites
for the less harmful winged flying ant species.
Termites are known to cause more than $5 billion dollars in
damage each year, so it's crucial to know the difference between
termite swarms and winged ants so you can take the necessary
action. Arrow offers the following tips:
- Flying termites have two pair of wings that are the same size
and shape, while winged ants - such as carpenter and fire ants -
have front wings that are larger than their hind ones.
- Ant antennae are "elbowed," while termite antennae are
- Their bodies also differ. Termites have a broad waist, while
ants have a narrow midsection.
Recognizing the destruction termites can cause, it's also
important to be aware of infestation warning signs:
- Swarming usually occurs during mid-day, especially when sunny
or often following rainfall.
- Evidence of mud tunneling in, over and under wood
- Wooden structures exhibit darkening or blistering.
- Damaged wood becomes extremely thin and can be easily punctured
by a knife or a screwdriver.
- Appearance of hundreds of discarded wings on or around
windowsills, because the termites will attempt to get outside by
flying toward the light.
So don't sit back and take the risk! Be sure to contact a pest
professional who can help determine if you have a termite
infestation and create a plan to protect your family and home from
these costly pests.