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Does Rain Cause More Termites?

02/01/2022   — Termite

As precipitation begins to fall more frequently, termite inspectors and homeowners have begun to notice more termite activity early on in the season.

According to Andrew Sutherland, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Integrated Pest Management Advisor for the Bay Area, the frequent rains may be triggering an early termite explosion. "Most likely what's being observed are swarms of western subterranean termites."

As social insects, termites are often found in large colonies and will often swarm in order to mate and find new areas to populate. Wet conditions can often expedite this process by softening the dirt and making it easier for termites to find hospitable areas to reproduce.

"I would guess it's because the moisture makes it easier for them to excavate their nuptial chamber," said Sutherland. In other words, wet soil and wet wood is easier to dig through and consume. Due to the abundance of soggy wood during the rainy season it is important to store any old firewood, or other old wooden materials or furniture, in an area safe from moisture.


How can I tell if I need a termite inspection?


After long periods of precipitation and moisture, termites will tend to swarm during mating season onto wet, wooded areas. As seen in the picture below, a termite swarm will begin to form.

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Being able to tell the difference between a flying ant infestation and a termite infestation will save you money in the long run. Termites are typically distinguished from flying ants by the length of their wings. Termites tend to have equally long front and back wings while flying ants tend to have front wings which are longer than their hind wings. Termites can also be distinguished by their broad waist and unbent antennae unlike flying ants which have constricted waists and bent antennae.


If you begin to notice any signs of termite swarming or evidence of termites, such as wood droppings, it is advised you reach out to a local termite inspector for an inspection. Catching termite activity early on is essential to preventing more damage later.


What can I do if I discover evidence of termites?


If you discover or suspect termite evidence on your home or property, it is recommended that you call a professional to handle the situation. Although termites aren’t typically dangerous, the misuse of certain chemicals or sprays in order to get rid of termites can cause even more damage to your home or property.

Here at Twin Termite, our professionally trained termite inspectors will identify whether a termite swarm is present, entry points for termites, and any repairs that need to be made.