Since our last post was about ants, which are officially invading every house they can find a way into, this is a perfect time to focus on a somewhat similar-looking home invader: Swarming termites.
At this time of year, it’s not unusual for a homeowner to go out for the afternoon, and return to a house full of tiny winged insects. They look similar to winged ants, but usually indicate a much more serious problem than an easily-treated ant colony. Termites infest all kinds of structures, often in hard-to-reach places like crawlspaces and cluttered basements, and devour wood. Americans spend about $5 billion every year on termite treatments and repairing damage.
Though Delmarva isn’t affected by termites as severely as the Deep South and California, we experience moderate activity, comparable to that in neighboring Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia. Alaska is the only state with no known termite species.
It’s possible for a termite infestation to go unnoticed for years. In such cases, a swarm might be the first obvious sign of a problem. This tends to occur in the spring or early summer, usually on a hot day following rainy weather. The swarmers’ goal is to find mates and establish new colonies in the ground; if trapped inside, they’ll fly toward windows and die rather quickly. Winged and wingless swarmers might be found around the perimeter of the house, crawling on the foundation and the flower beds. Though most swarms are short-lived, you might experience several over a period of a week or so. And without a treatment, you can look forward to swarms at about the same time every year.
Termite treatments are more expensive than ant treatments, unfortunately, so it pays to correctly identify the problem. There are many images online which compare and contrast termites and ants, or, if you’re in our service area, feel free to give us a call at 302-436-8140. We don’t charge to identify pests and recommend treatments, and offer a free termite inspection to every homeowner.
For more information about our termite protection services, visit our website.