Termites are real-world problems. There are more than 2500 kinds of termites around the globe. They result in more than $30 billion in damage to infrastructure yearly.
This is why you should always be well aware of the signs of an early termite infestation. One of the things you can look out for is the behavior of these destructive pests.
They usually work in patterns that can be learned.
Termites are called spring swarmers for this very reason. They tend to populate during spring when the environment is moist and conducive for reproduction.
While everyone else is busy with spring cleaning, termites use the season to breed.
How do termites breed in spring?
Yes, that’s right. When the weather is getting warmer, reproductive termites that have wings, called alates, fly in droves. They begin massive mating rituals that can go on for several days.
Spring is the most ideal time for subterranean termites to reproduce. While most people will think of spring as the time for melting snow, blooming flowers and butterflies abounding, you should also be on the lookout for flying termites.
Swarmers have two sets of wings that lay flat on their abdomens that they only use during the reproductive season. Young males emerge from their nests in large groups to look for mates.
The female termites release pheromones that attract males. Here’s the romantic part: once a male finds a mate, it breaks off their wings. It symbolizes that they have found a mate.
Nothing romantic follows, especially for the affected property owner. The new colony is about to get started after this charade.
So, one of the signs to raise the infestation flag is when you see discarded termite wings.
Termites start of as nymphs after hatching. They eventually shed their skin and develop into adult termites and begin to work soon as they are capable.
Subterranean termites have queens that can live up to 30 years and lay eggs by the thousands day by day.
These eggs have the potential to be other kings and queens who can multiply and start their colonies. Talk about an infinite loop.
They can also take on different roles. Some become the principal workers. These are the ones that do the most damage in homes and properties as they work nonstop to get the cellulose from wood. They have strong mandibles that can eat into the wood.
Some become soldiers. As their namesake explains, they protect the colony from outside intervention and harm. Some termites develop wings and become the main reproductive team of the colony.
Termites are social insects. They live in colonies underground or inside dead or rotting wood. Building foundation and wooden furniture can also be their home sweet home which is why property owners should be on the constant lookout for telltale signs of termite infestation.
Most of the time, termite damage is not covered by insurance which is why you should always be proactive when dealing with termites.
How long before a colony is created?
Depending on the species, it may take up top 3 years before a colony reaches its fully mature and ripe state.
In the first year, the queen may just lay less than 30 eggs. It may not be too obvious that there’s a budding colony right there. The subterranean termite colony may only grow to 75 individuals during its first year. Therefore, there’s not much damage to any wood that will trigger the alarm for any property owner.
Because of this slow growth, some people think that termites only breed during the spring, whereas, like a real community, it is working twenty-four hours and seven days of the week all year round.
One can’t simply think that the colony will not grow to be a full-sized and mature community of invasive pests.
What to do with spring swarmers?
The best thing to do if you spot termites around your property is to call termite control professionals.
If you have seen some termites above ground, chances are that you already have an infestation growing nearby.
Try to look for the source to help the professionals address the problem faster and more efficiently. If you can’t find it, then you can let the professionals settle it for you.
The best way to prevent further damage is to act immediately. Even if the termite infestation is small, as we know, it only takes a small colony of less than a hundred to become a community of two million or more subterranean termites to damage and destroy your properties.
(RELATED: Common Questions About Termites)
In the spring season, don’t just take notice of the birds and the bees. Look for signs of spring swarmers, their patterns, behaviors, and if possible, their nests.
The whole year would be that much better if your house or properties will be free of any termite infestation.