Termites swarm presently of yr | Training


Termites tend to swarm the closer it gets to Mother’s Day.

Urban entomologist Qian “Karen” Sun from LSU AgCenter says termite lettuce or hawkers will gather around lights after dark from late April through June.

“When Mother’s Day is celebrated, it is also the time of year when the Formosan underground termites swarm and expand their colonies,” she said. “The swarm peak is early to mid-May.”

The underground termite Formosan is an invasive species and the most destructive structural pest in Louisiana. They were imported into the continental United States from their home territory in East Asia via military cargo ships after World War II.

In Louisiana, this insect was first reported in the port cities of Lake Charles and New Orleans and has now spread to 42 of the 64 parishes.

“Subterranean termites nest underground and tunnel in the ground to look for cellulosic materials such as dead or living trees, lumber, cardboard, and paper,” Sun said. “Formosan’s underground termites pose a greater threat than the native species because they form larger colonies, are more aggressive, and build cardboard nests above ground.”

A Formosan underground termite colony can have millions of individuals and cause more damage in less time, she said.

During certain times of the year, termite colonies produce “swarmers,” winged adults that fly out of the nest to find a mate and a place to start new colonies.

After a short flight and the laying off of the wings, two female and male termites converge and look for a suitable nesting site with moisture and food.

“They mate in their newly dug nesting chamber, produce offspring who develop into workers and soldiers, and become queen and king,” Sun said. “In most cases, if they can’t find the right environment to dig and build a nest, the hawkers just die.”

In contrast to Louisiana’s native underground termites, which swarm during the day, the Formosan’s underground termites fly at dusk and prefer warm, humid and windless evenings.

Your crushers are yellowish-brown in color and are attracted to lights. They swarm in great numbers and thousands of termites float by a street lamp.

“The swarming termites are not good fliers, and they don’t usually fly more than half a mile,” she said. “If you see swarmers outdoors, it indicates a termite infestation on the nearby trees or structures. However, if you find these termites flying indoors, or if you notice a large number of wings around the house, then it is most likely that you have an active infestation in your house. “

Termite swarms do not cause direct damage, and the damage is caused by the workers who are their offspring, who are constantly looking for and collecting cellulosic material. If hawkers are seen it is important to take proactive steps to protect your property.

Termite swarmers can be a nuisance if they are flying in large numbers, but killing the swarmers in or around the home does not protect against further termite activity and damage.

“Protecting your home from termites starts with an inspection by a pest control professional, followed by appropriate treatment depending on the situation,” she said.

Because underground termites require cellulose and moisture to survive, homeowners can ward off potential damage by limiting the termites’ food and water sources. Here are several things you can do to keep your home safe:

– Turn off the outdoor lighting at night in May and June to avoid attracting enthusiasts.

– Remove all wood, cardboard and other cellulosic materials from around or under your house.

– Keep mulch 8 to 12 inches from the foundation or perimeter of your home.

– Repair drip taps outdoors and fix leaks in the roof or pipes.

– Descend the landscape so that the water drains from the house.

– Only use licensed and certified pest control professionals for termite treatments.

If swarms of termites do appear, you can collect some of the insects or their wings so that they can be identified by a pest control service or entomologist.

Formosan subterranean termite swarms. The photo on the left shows a winged hawk and the photo on the right shows a pair of tandem barrels after throwing wings.

Left photo, Jace Owens / LSU AgCenter. Right photo, Qian “Karen” Sun / LSU AgCenter

Swarming termites are attracted to a floodlight.

Qian “Karen” Sun / LSU AgCenter