Once the cold weather begins to creep away is when we should begin to see swarming termites. Especially after a big rainfall, mature winged adults will swarm from their original nesting site in hopes of forming new colonies. The most common termite you will see swarming is the Eastern subterranean termite, which is native to North Carolina. Here are some fast facts about these termites:
- They live below ground
- Their main source of food is woody materials, like tree stumps
- They appear long, narrow, and oval with a creamy white to dark brown color
Why do Termites Swarm?
Swarming is beneficial when creating new colonies. Termites swarm after a colony has reached a certain capacity and is ready to expand. This normally happens once per year for most colonies. Hundreds or even thousands of swarmers, also known as alates, are produced with the sole purpose of reproduction and expansion.
Where does it Usually Occur?
Swarming can occur indoors or outdoors. They cannot survive indoors because of the lack of soil to colonize. If found indoors, they are usually found near windows and light fixtures as they are attracted to light. Whether indoors or outdoors, they usually can’t cause damage. As swarmers, they can’t bite, sting, or chew. The presence of swarms indicates that a colony is nearby, though; so, although the swarmers can’t cause damage, the nearby colony can.
How to Prevent Termites:
- Getting rid of water sources by eliminating or reducing standing water around your home.
- Repairing any leaky faucets, pipes, and air conditioners.
- Removing any tree stumps from your property.
- Keeping firewood stored at least 20 feet away from your home and elevated off the ground.
- Scheduling an annual termite inspection of your home and property to help detect termite problems early before they can cause significant damage.
If you begin to see swarming termites and aren’t sure if your home has become infested, be sure to give your local termite control company a call and they can inspect your property and set up a proactive termite control plan.