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Swarm Season in Northern California

Spring is just around the corner. As temperatures rise and the flowers bloom, insects come out of their cocoons, nests, and hives.

Around spring, subterranean termites will grow wings and fly from their colonies to mate and start new colonies. Late February to March is the most likely time of the year for you to see termites, though Fall can also produce termite activity. Activity often follows a rainy period with temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Subterranean termite colonies, like ant colonies, are underground and thus are not limited to where you can find them. Drywood termites, less common than subterranean termites, live above ground, in trees, and sometimes houses. Both species are busy in the springtime, looking to start new colonies.

Where will you see them and when should you worry? Termites starting a new colony will take years to develop to a size that will do damage to your home. Termites need food and water, so keep standing water away from your home and sub-area. Keep up with painting and caulking (areas where termites can get inside) and clear your sub-area and property of raw wood and wood debris. Having termite inspections performed every 3-5 years is a great idea.

Should you worry? As mentioned, the “swarm season” is a great time to see termites. If you have termites in your home or under your home, you may see the winged mating termites leaving the colony. They live in the darkness and will be attracted to light. An example we saw was hundreds of termites escaping the attic through a recessed light fixture. The client called us and described discarded wings and live termites falling from the ceiling.

If you see live termites like these or the discarded wings, that is the time to give us a call. We will come out, no charge, and take a look. Don’t worry, termite treatments aren’t as expensive as you might think. The real damage and costs will occur if termites are undiscovered and spend years eating away at your home.