Termite Swarms, in the Spring


It’s a warm spring evening, the air is calm right after sunset. The next thing you know you feel some little bug crawling over you. You go to the light and there are more. They’re not dark and paired-up like lovebugs. They don’t sting or bite. They do annoy! Along the central Gulf Coast, the odds are it’s termites.

Termite swarms are annual events when millions of the little critters leave their underground nests in springtime in search of new homes. The good news is these flying termites are mostly just a nusiance to keep out of the home, and then to clean up the next day. They are attracted to light and they manage to find any opening in your roof, eaves, windows, doors and vents to get inside your home.

How do you get rid of them? You can’t but the first step to not attract them is to simply turn off your lights. Lights are what they are attracted to. If you are out for an evening walk while they swarm you’ll quickly notice they are also attracted to light colors.

No need to spray them with any bug sprays. If they are in the house, and in the air, you might just spray them with a mist of water. The extra weight will knock them to the floor. Once they get into the house, they often lose their wings and then they just walk around until they tire and die overnight. Then you get to spend the next morning sweeping them up.

If you think you have termites living in your home, call a professional for an inspection. North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension says, “The swarmers likely came from a nearby underground nest. If most of the insects are found outdoors, then the nest is likely somewhere in your yard, possibly near an old tree stump or landscape timbers. If you find most of the swarmers indoors, then you quite likely have an infestation under/in your home or business.”

Here are details on the life cycles of termites, from North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension.

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