Termite Season In Memphis: What Homeowners Ought To Know

3/30/2020

There are many things that can damage your Memphis home. Almost all of them are covered by your homeowner's insurance policy. But there is a type of damage that happens over time as a result of poor maintenance. This type of damage is not covered by your home insurance policy. Unfortunately, subterranean termite damage falls into this category—even though homeowners lack the knowledge and resources to properly protect their home investments from the threat of these wood-eating pests. Every year, when termite season begins, the team here at Dart Pest, Lawn & Wildlife, think about those who do not have ongoing, always active, termite protection for their homes. That is why we put out a quick guide in spring, as we head into termite season. Now is the time of year to be on the lookout for termites. Here's why.

a termite swarmer alate crawling on a wooden table

What Swarmers Mean

The most obvious warning sign of a termite infestation is the appearance of swarmers. These are winged termites that exit nests in the spring in order to mate and establish new nests. When you see them on your home, it is important that you understand what they mean. Swarmers don't migrate through your yard. If you see swarmers, there is a mature and active termite nest somewhere near your home. It may even be in the ground next to your home.

The Nature Of A Termite Swarm

Goals: When winged termites take to the air, they have two things on their tiny, little minds: They are looking to find a mate, and they are looking for a suitable location to start a family (a very large, wood-eating family). When you see lots of swarmers together, they have not yet mated and broken off in search of a nesting area. That means you are close to the source of those swarmers. Lots of swarmers is almost always evidence of a current infestation.

Length: Swarms don't last for more than around 30 minutes. If you see lots of swarmers, you're actually fortunate. Usually, swarmers gather and disperse before a homeowner has time to notice them.

Distance: Swarms don't travel far. All of those insects are looking for a mate. They fly around releasing pheromones in hopes of finding that special someone to spend the rest of their lives with. It doesn't benefit them to go any distance. They just fly around in the general vicinity of where they emerged.

What Swarmers Look Like

If you are fortunate to see a swarmer, it is important that you recognize what insect you're looking at. The most noticeable trait of a swarmer is its white wings. The wings of a swarmer are three times as long as its black-colored body. When swarmers group together, you're likely to say, "Look at all of those white-winged insects." The wings are quite prominent. If you see one by itself, you're not likely to think much of it at all. A swarmer is only about ⅝ of an inch long—that includes its long wings. If you see a little winged insects land on your skin, take a moment to see if its wings are white, and whether or not they are stacked on top of each other and rounded at the tips. If they are, you have just spotted a termite swarmer. You would be wise to contact a licensed professional to do a detailed inspection of your property.

A Helpful Tip For Swarmer Detection

When termites mate, they shed their wings. If swarmers emerged from a nest on your property, wings may be the only warning sign you get. One place you may find wings is in spider webs. Spider webs are like nature's sticky traps. Check underneath exterior structures, such as decks, patios, porches, and stairs.

Termite Control

There are only a few insects that can destroy your home. Subterranean termites are at the top of the list. If you don't have ongoing termite protection for your home, please keep a lookout for swarmers or shed wings. These warning signs could prevent significant damage to your home. And, as always, remember that Dart Pest, Lawn & Wildlife is always available to assist you with all your pest control needs. Reach out to us anytime. We're here to help.

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