With the arrival of spring, homeowners need to be on guard for an annual menace that threatens their homes: termites. April and May are the height of termite season – the time when the temperature is just right for termites to begin swarming out of their nests to build new colonies in another location. These “swarmers” look a lot like flying ants – but the damage they can do in the long run is much more serious.
Homeowners who see flying termites need to pay special attention. First, you need to find out if they came from your property. Termites commonly live underground, but tunnel into your house to eat the wood as a food source. Be on the lookout for tunnels on your home made of mud. If the swarmers seem to be mostly indoors, it’s a good sign you’re already infested.
If they’re coming over from the neighbor’s property, you need to take a different approach. Make sure to warn your neighbor about it. If they won’t call out the exterminator (or can’t afford to), you’re in a bind – your house will be ground zero in both the spring and the fall. You’ll want to, at a minimum, get annual inspections. Don’t panic – it can take years for termites to actually do any serious damage. However, you should ask a local pest control professional about installing a bait system in your yard. These systems use wooden bait to serve as both a warning sign and a way to kill termites. The exterminator can check the bait stations to see if there has been any activity. Any termites that eat from them will also spread poison to the budding colony.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to do a regular inspection on your own – looking for mud tubes, sawdust, bubbles in the paint on your walls, or small holes in exposed wood.