Swarming termites, or alates, are often seen in the spring and summer months. While they might seem alarming, these pests do not bite, sting, or chew wood. Instead, swarming termites indicate they an established termite colony is close by, which can be problematic for your home and family. But when does swarming season begin and how do you know if termites have invaded your Florida property? We breakdown what you should know about termite swarms.
When is Florida swarming season?
Swarming season often depends on the type of termite; however, in Florida we have two common termites to lookout for: subterranean and drywood termites. Subterranean termites swarm during the spring and early summer months. Drywood termites tend to swarm in the late spring to end the summer. Termite swarms are also determined by weather, with rainstorms and overcast increasing swarm activity.
Why do termites swarm?
Termites swarm to both reproduce and expand their colony. Once a colony has reached its capacity of termites, the swarming process begins, leaving their existing one to start a new. The number of termites that will swarm will often depend on the type of termite species and colony size.
How can I prevent swarming termites?
Preventing swarming termites starts with preventing termite colonies from establishing. There are several preventative measures you can place at your home to avoid termite swarms and keep termites from establishing, including:
- During peak swarm seasons, keep your outdoor lights turned off at night; consider relocating exterior lights to recessed areas away from doors and windows
- Avoid excess moisture by ensuring you have proper ventilation and fix any leaky pipes
- Keep at least a 4-inch barrier between mulch used in your landscaping and the side of your home
- Keep shrubbery trimmed back at least 12 inches from the walls of your home and remove any fallen branches, dead wood, or old tree stumps on your property
- If you have a crawlspace, consider enclosing it to help eliminate moisture under your home but to also prevent mold, mildew, wood rot, and other household pests
- Schedule an annual termite inspection and request a quote on treatment options, such as the Sentricon Always Active Bait station for 24/7/365 termite protection
If you suspect swarming termite activity nearby or a termite infestation at your home, it’s best to call your local pest control company for help. Termite professionals will give you a thorough evaluation and the best termite treatment and prevention plan.