It’s the time of year when Louisiana homeowners need to be extra vigilant about watching for signs of a termite swarm.
Termites swarm when the colony has reached a certain size and the conditions are right for reproduction.
The length of time that termites swarm depends on the species of termite, but it usually lasts from one to two weeks. In Louisiana, termites swarm during the months of February and March.
Swarming termites are reproductive termites that leave their nests in search of a mate. During these months, homeowners should be on the lookout for winged termites around their home.
If you see winged termites around your home, do not panic. These insects are not aggressive and will not cause any damage to your property. However, it is important to contact a pest control professional as soon as possible.
A pest control professional can help you determine if you have an active termite infestation and develop a treatment plan to get rid of the insects.
Types of Termites in Louisiana
The weather is warming up and the Louisiana air is thick with humidity which can only mean one thing. Termites are on the move, and before long, homeowners across the state will be dealing with swarms.
Subterranean, Drywood, and Formosan termites thrive in Louisiana’s hot and humid climate. There is a report that it is the most affected state by termite infestations in the United States.
Drywood termites are less common, but they can still cause significant damage. They live in small colonies inside wood structures, and they don’t require contact with the ground to survive.
Formosan termites are notorious for their destructive nature, and their ability to quickly colonize an area.
Returning ships during World War II carried Formosan termites from China to the United States.
Each year, Louisiana’s homes and structures suffer more Formosan termite damage than those in any other state.
Residents and businesses in the greater New Orleans area alone spend an estimated $300 million annually attempting to get rid of Formosan termites and repair the damage they do.
When Does Termite Swarming Start and End in Louisiana
Springtime in Louisiana brings warmer weather and longer days, but it also heralds the start of termite season.
Termite swarms will become far more frequent in the state and winged termite swarmers take the rising spring temperatures as a cue to begin swarming.
Subterranean termites can be found in every U.S. state except Alaska. Their colonies are divided into castes such as workers, soldiers, and alates.
Workers forge to feed the others, soldiers defend the colony, and alates swarm to create new colonies which happen from February to May.
Termites of this sort are generally tough to spot because they reside entirely within the wood they infest.
They’re also difficult to remove because they generally establish several nests inside a home. The majority of drywood termites swarm in the spring.
The Formosan subterranean termite is the most savage termite species in Louisiana. They usually swarm at dusk during the months of May and June.
Do Termites Swarm in Louisiana Longer than in the Other States
Louisiana is located in Termite Infestation Probability Zone #1 which is classified as a zone with very heavy infestation.
This simply indicates the presence of termites in the area is higher than average. The probability of a structure being infested with termites is also greater in this zone.
The duration of the swarming season is usually from February until June so it’s safe to say that termites swarm for a longer period in Louisiana compared to other states because the climate is conducive to their swarming behavior.
It is an area with higher probabilities for termite activity such as swarming compared to other states.
With the presence of different termite species that swarm in different months, termite swarms in this state are more likely to happen all throughout the year.
How to Prepare for a Swarm
As the weather warms up, Louisiana homeowners should be on the lookout for termites.
These destructive pests can quickly cause extensive damage to homes, and once a swarm starts, it can be difficult to control.
To help protect your home from termites, you can actually follow some tips on how to prepare for a swarm.
Remove potential food sources
Termites are infesting an area for a reason. They are attracted to wood, so if you have any firewood or other wood debris around your property, make sure to remove it.
These insects are also attracted to moisture, so one of the best ways to prevent them from taking up residence in your home is to eliminate any sources of water that they could potentially use.
Make sure your gutters are clean and functioning properly, repair any leaks in your plumbing, and be sure to ventilate crawl spaces and attics to help keep them dry.
Inspect your home regularly
Inspecting your home for signs of termites on a regular basis is one of the best ways to prevent an infestation. Be sure to check for mud tubes along the foundation, as well as any wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
Seek professional help
If you do find evidence of termites, don’t try to handle the problem yourself. Call a professional immediately to have them assess the situation and determine the best course of action.
Termites are a year-round problem, as you now realize. The termite season, on the other hand, is generally considered to begin when termites swarm.
Every year, homeowners across Louisiana brace themselves for an influx of these pesky insects.
Swarms are a warning sign that termites have infested your property, so make sure to call a pest control professional as soon as you see one.
While you can’t entirely prevent termite swarms, you may keep them out of your home by taking the appropriate precautions.