What Termite Season Means For Your Columbia Home


While subterranean termites in Columbia can be a year-round problem, they present a particular problem during the warm months of the year. Heat and humidity cause these insects to increase their activity, and we see this increase start in the springtime. That is one of the reasons why now is the perfect time to talk about termites. Another reason now is the perfect time to talk about termites is that spring is when termites might reveal themselves to you if they're feeding on your home.

Spring Swarmers

Do you know what a termite swarmer is? The name reveals a little bit about these insects. They do gather into a swarm. But, if that's all you know about them, you don't know nearly enough. Here are five facts every homeowner should know about swarmers.

  • Swarmers aren't a type of termite; they are sterile termite workers that developed into winged reproductives. This happens when a nest has matured.
  • Swarmers have one job. It is to leave the nest and create new colonies.
  • Swarmers gather in a swarm to find a mate, not to travel distances. So a swarm of termites won't travel far.
  • Swarmers mate, shed their wings, and tunnel into the ground to establish a new nest. This happens quickly. A typical swarm won't last for more than about 20 minutes. Usually, these shed wings are the only warning sign a homeowner gets.
  • Swarmers are the queens and kings of new colonies.

What does all this tell us about swarmers?

When you see swarmers crawling around on the outside of your Columbia home, you should understand that those termites are probably not a warning sign of an impending infestation. They are a warning sign that there is a mature nest of termites on, or near, your property. It is also quite possible that workers from that colony have been feeding on your home for years. A worker termite can tunnel as far as the length of a football field to find a food source.

Tips For Detecting Termite Swarmers

Identification: If you're going to detect a termite swarmer, you need to know what one looks like. A swarmer isn't pale like a termite worker. When it develops into a swarmer, it becomes a black color and grows long white wings. These wings are longer than the termite—by quite a bit. They stack on top of each other and appear rounded at the tips. At full size, a termite swarmer is only about ⅜ of an inch long.

Wings: A termite swarm can gather and disperse in the time it takes you to run to the convenience store. But their shed wings can give you a clue that a swarm happened. You may find these on the ground in your yard or on the surface of an external structure. These wings are light and can blow away. Inspect any spider webs on your property. These can catch swarmer wings. They may also have a swarmer or two stuck to them.

Dig: You may be able to detect swarmers before they take to the sky. If you have mulch around your home, you could find a layer of white-winged swarmers underneath.

What Does It Mean When Termites Are Not Spotted Near Your Home

It means it's not too late for you to take steps to make your home and property less interesting to termites.

  • Make sure you have properly functioning gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks.
  • Address compact soil that allows puddles to form.
  • Address any oversaturated areas.
  • Remove stumps, logs, and other dead wood.
  • If you have a crawl space under your home, consider having it sealed and ventilated.
  • Make sure no portion of your home has wood-to-soil contact.

Another Tip For Detecting A Termite Infestation

If subterranean termites are feeding on your home, you may find shelter tubes. These are mud tubes made from soil and saliva. Worker termites create these tubes to protect them as they go from the ground to the wood of your home. These tubes are usually established in dark locations underneath a house. You're probably going to have to get dirty to find them.

The Best Way To Protect Your Property From Termites

The best way to avoid the damage termites can cause is to have a trusted termite control team on your side. Let the Original Bugman Pest Elimination, Inc. help. Our team of licensed termite control professionals knows what is required to eliminate the threat of termites. Reach out to us. We'd be happy to discuss the options that are available and guide you toward a solution that will ensure complete protection for your Columbia home.

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