Many homeowners will start with a web search. There are numerous sites that will give you information concerning termites, termite treating methods, and product ratings. We recommend that you speak with your neighbors, friends, and co-workers first. Most everyone knows someone in North Texas that has had a home with termite problems. Secondly, solicit several bids and compare. Do not let price or the salesperson make the decision for you. There are no “pie in the sky” treatment methods. Termites are tenacious, and require a thorough initial treatment and follow-up to insure that they are no longer a problem. Become familiar with “Conducive Conditions” in and around your home that can encourage termite infestation or re-infestation. Understand ”Conducive Conditions”, and correct them prior to an infestation. It can greatly enhance your protection; can save you a lot of money, and frustration. If you find or suspect that your home has termites, do not self-treat with over the counter baits. The termites must be terminated from the structure first. Let the Label be your guide. Read it and ask questions. A properly treated home is your best means for effective termite control. Remember, it is the technician treating your home, who puts down the termiticide in the right places, and at the proper rate, not the salesperson.
Building a new home, or adding on to an existing one? Think Termites! Ensure you have it properly pre-treated.
A subterranean termite infestation begins when warm temperatures and heavy rainfall trigger an established colony to send out a swarm of winged termites. Swarms consist of winged reproductive males and females. Subterranean termite colonies are usually active for three to five years before winged reproductives appear. Winged, reproductive termites are frequently mistaken for flying ants, but are smaller than ants and have straight, rather than bent, antennae. Termite swarmers have four wings that are all the same size. Ant swarmers have two large wings in front and two smaller wings behind. After mating, swarmer termites land and shed their wings, leaving them in piles that resemble fish scales. If there are piles of wings on windowsills of your home, check to see if they are all the same size. They could be termite wings especially if they are all the same size.
Each year we receive hundreds of calls in the spring and fall from people who are concerned they have termites swarming. In some cases the winged culprit is a swarming ant.
The bodies of termite swarmers are black while ant swarmers may be brown, black or red. Termite swarmers are typically much smaller than ant swarmers and have a much shorter life span out of the soil. In addition, termite swarmers have straight antennae, no constriction at the waist and both pairs of wings are equal in size.
If you are still unsure what insect you have found, give us a call or send us an E-mail. We can set an appointment to have one of our termite professionals help you determine if you have termites or any other infestation.
Termite reproductives form new colonies through “swarming”. The swarming termites develop during winter months. Usually in the spring during warm and humid weather, worker termites will build special tubes called “swarming castles” and prod the swarmers out for mating.
Swarming typically last for around 30 minutes. Although these reproductive termites are a nuisance, they are actually doing homeowners a favor. In many cases, swarming termites are the first signs that a home is infested with termites.
Because termites can destroy wood completely out of our sight year round, these winged termites are an important signal. Swarmers do not cause any damage. Their purpose is to start new colonies. Indoor swarmers will die within a few hours therefore we do not recommend the use of pesticides. You should wait until they die, then you can sweep or vacuum them up. Very seldom are indoor swarmers successful in starting a new colony (termites must find sufficient moisture inside the structure).
Sometimes termites swarm inside your home just briefly, die and then you do not see them again. Some people make the mistake of thinking the termites went away or maybe the pesticide they sprayed where the swarmers were emerging solved the problem. Sorry to say it is not that easy.
Swarmers only emerge briefly during the right environmental (temperature, light and moisture) conditions. You may not see them again until the next year. However, the worker termites in the colony will still be feeding on your home if they are present like the swarmers suggest.