You may have never experienced a termite infestation before, but in the state of Georgia, no one is safe from a swarm. There are different species of termites all over the United States, but subterranean termites run rampant in the spring in Georgia and Tennessee. If they find your house suitable, they can cause serious damage.
So how do you prevent a swarm of subterranean termites? Learning more about this species and their tendencies will help you to prepare for their more prolific seasons.
What Are Subterranean Termites?
Subterranean termites are wood-eating insects that live all over the United States. They have tiny bodies that range from pale brown, to burnt orange, to black in color, and the reproductive termites have large, translucent wings. Subterranean termites are one of the most destructive pests in the country, causing serious structural damage to many homes every year. Here in Georgia, the Eastern variety of subterranean termites run rampant in the spring and summer.
Subterranean termites are divided into three roles – workers, soldiers, and reproductives:
- The workers are smaller and paler, and their goal is to chew away at wood, tunneling into houses and buildings.
- Soldier termites are bigger and darker with large mandibles, tasked with defending the colony.
- Then there are the reproductives, including the king, queen, and alate nymphs, which are the ones that swarm to find new homes.
Finding any of these kinds of termites in your home means that there are others nearby. Subterranean termites can remain active all year long, especially in warmer climates like Atlanta’s, so be on the lookout to stop a colony from growing in your walls.
Subterranean Termite Swarms
A subterranean termite colony will start to swarm once they’ve reached a certain level of maturity and the weather conditions are ideal. A colony that has been established for around three years is usually ready to take to the skies. They do this once they have produced enough alate nymphs – these are the kind of termites that grow wings and are able to reproduce.
Springtime in the Atlanta GA area usually provides the perfect conditions for a termite swarm. Once temperatures reach about a 70-degree daily average, the swarmers will begin to leave the colony in large numbers. Termites are weak fliers, so they are able to travel the furthest when carried by consistent wind, which we usually see a lot of in April. This means that subterranean termite colonies don’t usually travel too far, so if you know of any neighbors with termite trouble, talk to your local pest control company about what you can do to prevent an infestation.
Flying Ants vs Termites
Swarms of termites can be easily mistaken for flying ants. Here are some signs that you are dealing with subterranean termites, and not their look-alikes:
- If you can get close enough, you’ll see noticeable differences in their appearance. Termite swarmers have two sets of long wings that measure the same length, while flying ants have a shorter set with one pair being bigger than the other. Additionally, flying ants are darker in color, and have longer legs and antennae.
- If you have noticed damaged wood in your house, you most likely have termites. Most species of ants do not damage wood, and the ones that tunnel through wood don’t eat it. Check the wood in your home for darkening, blistering, or hollow sounds when tapped.
- Subterranean termites will dig tunnels underground towards a wooden structure, called mud tubes. This gives them a clear path from their nest to their food source. Noticing these tubes in your yard is a clear sign of termites.
Treatment For Subterranean Termites
If you’re experiencing a subterranean termite swarm in your neighborhood, let your local termite extermination experts know before it gets out of hand. Our specialists at Active Pest Control will assess your home to find potential entry points and vulnerabilities in your home, and they will do away with the termites before they take over your walls. Contact us today for a free quote!
Coming This Spring in Georgia: Subterranean Termite Swarms in Georgia
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