This month, many homeowners will leave for work in the morning with everything in order, only to come home from work at the end of the day and find hundreds or thousands of subterranean termites flying and crawling all over their home. It can be a “horrifying” experience.
Spring is when we typically see large numbers of winged subterranean termites emerging inside homes. These termites swarm in order to disperse and start new colonies. Once a colony reaches a critical size (This usually takes 5-8 years), winged reproductives (kings and queens) are produced.
Swarming is usually triggered by warmer temperatures and rain. You’ll see the winged termites emerge from the colony and start flying through the air. These termites are lousy fliers and they will quickly drop to the ground, shed their wings, pair off with a mate and attempt to begin a new colony.
Termite swarmers have a high mortality rate and only 3 percent survive. Those emerging from inside a structure almost never survive.
The presence of termite swarmers inside a home almost always indicates you have an infestation warranting treatment. You need to remember that just because you see them around windows, doors and lights; it doesn’t necessarily mean termites are infesting that particular area. They are attracted to light and it is very important you keep in mind that their origin may be in other areas of the home.
Termite swarmers emerging from tree stumps, wood piles, fences and other outdoor locations does not always mean that your home is infested. However, it does indicate there are infestations near by and that you should have your home checked.
Another way you can spot a termite problem is when you see pencil-wide mud foraging tubes. A common place to spot these is in garages where they grow up out of cracks or joints in the slab and start climbing up the wall. You may also see them on the inside of your home around doors, windows, on walls or even hanging down from ceilings. Subterranean termites build these mud tunnels to provide access so they can travel back and forth from the ground and the structure.
Unfortunately, many homeowners will never know they have a subterranean termite problem until it’s too late. That’s because these termites will often work inside of walls and ceilings where they can’t be seen.
Again, if you see swarming termites inside your home, it is a strong indication that you have an infestation. A thorough inspection of your home will need to be done to determine the origin of the infestation and then, you can determine the proper treatment needed to eradicate them.
Treatment of subterranean termites is done by injecting soil areas beneath the structure. Since subterranean termites live underground, it only makes sense to treat areas where they live. Many homeowners ask what happens to termites that are still in the home’s frame work and how will they be affected if we only treat the soil located under the home’s foundations. The answer to that is simple because, sooner or later, all of those termites will have to return back into the soil where they live. And, if treatment was done correctly, they will be exposed to treatment products that were put into the soil and will soon die off.
If your home needs treatment for subterranean termites, here are 3 key points to consider before doing any treatment on your home:
- Will a localized treatment suffice or does your home need a full perimeter treatment? If you have only one or two areas that are easily accessible, a local treatment may be all that is needed. If your home is showing more areas of infestation, a full treatment may be warranted. Also, if your home has exterior stucco that extends below grade, you should strongly consider a full perimeter treatment because infestations may be hidden and impossible to see.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. Most products are only effective if applied properly.
- We strongly recommend using non-repellant products for treatment. The only product we use and recommend is Termidor. Its non-repellant formulation coupled with it’s amazing “transfer effect” has produced perfect results for us over the past six years and we have never had to re-do a single job.
At “Termite” Terry Pest Control, “We’ll Get Rid Of All Your Termites, Or Your Treatment Is Free! Have subterranean termite problems? Call our office at (949) 631-7348 or click on order form and we’ll schedule an appointment at your convenience.