Arrow Exterminators Blog

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Put an End to Swarming Termites

Now that we’re solidly into March, we can all start looking forward to longer days and warmer temperatures. While this is great for getting outside (and it serves as a good reminder that summer is just around the corner), your family won’t be the only ones enjoying the spring weather. Unfortunately, spring is also termite season — before you know it, subterranean termites might begin to swarm on your property.

In early spring, typically after a rain, a large group of winged swarmers will take to the air in search of a new place to call home. These termites pair up and find the perfect location to start a new colony. After they find a place, they’ll shed their wings, mate and begin reproducing, with each female becoming the new queen of her colony and possibly laying a million eggs in her lifetime.

Termite swarms are typically easy to spot. You’ll often find dozens (or more) of these bugs flying in a dense group coming out of the ground, typically near a root, stump or other wood materials in your yard. Some people confuse termite swarms for flying ants, but getting a closer look can help you tell the difference. Termites have a straight waist, straight antennae and wings of equal length. Ants, however, have pinched waists and two sets of wings, one larger than the other.

If you notice swarming termites around your home, it’s bad news for your property. This either means you have an existing colony that has sent off swarmers, or a new group is hoping to burrow underground and set up shop within feeding distance of your home.

If a current colony is swarming, you’ll want to contact a termite professional like Arrow Exterminators as soon as possible. Colonies don’t typically swarm until they’re at least three years old, which means those termites have been feasting on your home for at least 1,095 days. Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive species of termites, with the ability to collapse a building entirely. Though that level of damage takes years to occur, that’s not something any homeowner wants to deal with. And the longer an existing colony stays and grows on your property, the harder and more costly it is to eliminate them.

The best way to avoid termites on your property is to not give them a food source to snack on. Easier said than done, we know. One step you can take is to prevent any water from accumulating near the foundation of your home. Be sure all your gutters and drain spouts are working properly, and consider buying splash blocks (concrete blocks placed at the bottom of a drain spout to divert water away from a building) from your local home improvement store if you don’t have them already. If possible, reduce the humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation, because these humid areas tend to attract termites.

Avoid piling bricks or other materials or objects against the side of your house, as termites can come in behind these materials and enter your home unnoticed. And of course, try to prevent wood from coming in contact with the soil. Don’t leave wood scraps or lumber lying around your yard, and maintain a one-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of your home or any other structures on your property.

If you notice termites swarming in your yard, the professionals at Arrow know just how to kill the colony for good. This is thanks to the Sentricon® system, the most advanced termite control system in the world. Many liquid treatments attempt to form a chemical barrier between your home and the termite colony, but these barriers can often contain tiny gaps that termites manage to get through to continue their assault on your home. And these treatments don’t attack the colony as a whole.

With the Sentricon system, bait traps are placed around your property. Worker termites pick up the bait and distribute it to the rest of the colony, adding it to the colony’s food source. The workers die off first (preventing the colony from finding and storing more food), and then the bait destroys the rest of the termites, including the queen.

Don’t leave the protection of your home to chance. If you see swarming termites near your property, remember it’s likely you’ve had a colony nearby for three years or more already. Contact Arrow for a full home and property evaluation and personalized treatment system to eliminate the colony for good.