April is a peak month for termites to start swarming in Florida, putting homes and businesses at increased risk of becoming infested. During swarm season, it is especially important to be on the lookout for signs of termite colonies around your property during this time of year, as infestations that go undetected can lead to the need for serious and costly repairs. It’s equally important, as a property owner, to be aware of the nature and habits of termites so you can be better prepared to handle these pests if they invade your home or business.
What Does A Termite Swarm Mean?
A termite swarm occurs when a large group of the pests, often up to several hundreds or even thousands at a time, fly about in a localized area looking for the next place to build their colony. Generally, the termites will fly toward a source of light, which can make the interior of your home particularly appealing.
A termite swarm generally lasts anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes. You will likely notice the pests around windows, porch lights, glass doors, and more. They can make their way inside via open doors, garages, cracks in windows or doors, or any other space that allows for entry.
These “swarmers,” or flying termites, do not bite or sting. However, they are attempting to establish new colonies, and if successful, the new colony will indeed cause structural damage to your property. With help from a professional, early detection and treatment can make quickly eliminating these termites much more feasible. There are many different species of termites that can be found in Florida, and each has a specific and unique period of time that the species can be observed to take part in these reproductive flights. This duration of weeks or months that a termite species will leave the nest in an attempt to fly and find a mate and reproduce is referred to as the “swarm season”.
If you do notice a termite swarm, either inside or outside of your home or business, it’s very important you don’t wait until you find damage to wood in attics, crawl spaces, flooring, door and window frames. Any sign of termites is not manageable with DIY attempts. Contact your local pest control company to have it handled professionally for best results.
When Is Termite Swarming Season in Florida?
Florida is relatively rich in termite species diversity compared to the rest of the continental US. Twenty-one termite species are recorded in Florida and among them at least six established were invasive species (more than any other states), mostly due to the subtropical climate of Florida and high human activity.
The exact environmental stimuli that triggers a termite to swarm is still somewhat unknown, but in general, some termite species swarm with higher levels of humidity or temperature compared to others, while some types of termites swarm during the day, and others night. However, there are a few things that all termite swarms have in common. For example, all termite swarmers will have four wings, straight antenna, and a broad waist. But in terms of color and size, there are subtle differences between the species that often take a professional to differentiate by looking at minute differences in wing venation. For a list of common termite species in your Florida community, click here. However, keep in mind, these characteristics are very subtle and it is best to consult with a professional and trained inspector.
What are Termites Attracted to?
Swarming termites gravitate toward sources of light, which can make many spaces an appealing nest. However, there are additional factors that can increase the termite appeal of your property, too. As we move into the warmer months and the termite swarm season in Florida picks up, it is important to be highly aware of these things around your property to minimize the chance of potential infestation.
During termite swarming season in Florida, addressing the following factors can help lessen the appeal of your space:
- Exterior Lighting. During swarm season, it is a good idea to limit your sources of exterior lighting during the evenings. This can help lessen the attractiveness of your home to nearby swarming termites.
- Piles of wood or other wood to ground contact. Whether you have lumber leftover from a home improvement project, piles of sticks from a yard cleanup, or any other source of wood, make sure to clean it up as quickly as possible. Termites prefer to build colonies near sources of wood.
- Piles of leaves, dead plants, or obstructions from inspecting the foundation of your home. Clear your yard of any debris, such as dead leaves, piles of grass clippings, and more. Make sure to sweep out garages, clear front patios and doorways of any plant debris, so you can clearly see the foundation of your home for early subterranean termite detection.
- Fix moisture issues. If your home has any lingering moisture issues from a leaking door, window, roof, or plumbing, this can be a conducive condition for subterranean termites and it is best to fix the water intrusion.
How to Prepare for Termite Swarming Season
When it comes to termite swarming season, knowledge is your best defense. Be aware of what to look for, what you can do to make your home and business less appealing to termites, and call a reputable pest control company at the first sign of a termite swarm.
April is a very busy month for termites! If you notice an infestation or are concerned for an area of your home or business, call our team of expert technicians at Brock Lawn and Pest Control! Whether you currently have a termite swarm or want to prevent one from occurring, we can help! With our specialized treatment techniques, you’ll be provided with both preventative and corrective treatments that will help keep your property protected.
Make sure to get a head start with our extensive, year-round pest control services. As a locally owned and operated pest control company, we proudly serve Florida’s Gulf Coast and northern counties with offices in Panama City, Fort Walton and Panama City Beach.
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