When Is the Subterranean Termite Season?

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While they’re known as a large group of ecologically important insects, termites can also be a menace for homeowners because of their diet and nesting habits. These wood-eating pests cost property owners thousands of dollars in property damage and repair, so the best thing to do to protect your home is to prepare for the coming termite season.

So what season do subterranean termites usually appear? Termites infest homes and other properties all year round, but their swarming season usually starts around spring to early summer. Regardless of the time of the year, it’s important to protect the house from termite infestations that threaten the structural integrity of sound wood in the building’s foundation using different termite treatment methods. 

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When Is The Subterranean Termite Swarm Season?

Termites are one of the most common household pests in the country. Every year, about 600,000 homes in the United States deal with these wood-eating insects and the structural damages they cause. Termite infestations are difficult to eliminate without the help of licensed pest control companies because they’re hard to detect until they’ve already destroyed sound wood and caused thousands of dollars in damage.

Subterranean termites are one of the most common termite species that invade homes. They usually build their main termite colony underground and attack rotting wood structures in contact with soil for food. They also create mud tubes to easily travel from their colony to their food source.

These termites burrow through the structural wood underneath the concrete slab of the foundation but they leave the surface untouched, making it difficult for homeowners to notice the termite damage immediately.

To prevent subterranean termite infestations from happening or at least minimize the cost of repairs, homeowners should have preventative measures in place especially as termite swarming season starts around spring to early summer. 

What Are Subterranean Termite Swarms?

Termite swarms refer to the large group of reproductive termites that fly around a specific area to look for a good place to build a new colony. Most swarms have a few hundred to thousands of winged termites that gather towards a light source.

Winged subterranean termites or alates measure around 3/8 inch with long but folded wings and bodies that are usually dark brown to black in color. They don’t bite or sting humans and pets, but they’re still a cause for concern because they’re the start of a termite infestation or an indicator of an active termite problem nearby. 

When Do Subterranean Termites Start Mating?

Most termite species swarm around the spring and summer months when there are conducive conditions for mating. Homeowners might find these social insects flocking near the lamp post or other light source on a warm day after the rainy season.

The subterranean termite species typically swarms in a blink of an eye – it generally lasts about 30 to 40 minutes until the alates disperse and mate. If you don’t see the swarming as it occurred, you might find discarded wings near wall cracks, doors, and other possible entry points for these reproductive subterranean termites. 

What Do These Termites Do For the Rest of the Year?

Termite swarming season only occurs once a year, but this doesn’t mean you should let your guard down during the rest of the year. These pests actively attack moist wood, scrap wood, and other wood products in contact with soil all year round, so homeowners should have long-lasting termite control measures in place.

Aside from the swarming season during spring, here are other activities that subterranean termites have throughout the year:

  • Summer – Subterranean termites spend most of their summer recovering from the problems brought by the springtime rain to their entire colony. Seasonal conditions usually kill many termites, resulting in a smaller worker termite population. Secondary reproductives produce more eggs to increase the number of individual workers that wander into the upper layer of the soil to forage.
  • Fall – A few species of subterranean termites start swarming around fall, such as the Light Southeaster Subterranean Termites. But for most types of termites that already had their swarming season during spring, they just continue gathering food for their own subterranean termite colonies.
  • Winter – Subterranean termites dig deeper into the soil as winter starts because they seek warmth to help them survive. Worker termites remain active around this time, but most of them forage deep into the earth instead of making their way to the upper layer of soil. 

3 Things That Attract Swarming Termites

It’s not just mating season or location that affect how attractive your property is to a group of termites. Sometimes, your property needs some tweaks here and there to prevent termites from infesting and damaging your space. Here are some factors that might make the property appealing to these pests and what to do about them:

  1. Lighting Outside The House – Having exterior lights at home invites nearby swarms into the property, so make sure to limit the light sources at home during termite season. It’s also a good idea to close windows, doors, and other entry points that the termites might use to enter the house and swarm near the interior lighting.
  1. Dead Plants and Leaf Piles – Clear the yard of wood piles and other cellulosic materials like leaf litters and dead plants to make the house less attractive to swarming termites. Doing this regularly also allows homeowners to take a closer look around the property for other signs of termite activity.
  1. Moisture Issues – Water accumulation is another thing that attracts subterranean termites into a property. Make sure to fix leaky pipes, standing water, and unclogged gutters before the termites find their way to the property during termite swarming season. 

How To Protect Your Home During Termite Season

Knowledge and preparedness are the best weapons when it comes to keeping the house termite-free even during the pest’s swarming season. Homeowners must know the basics of subterranean termite control, like what signs of termite activity to look for and how to make their home less appealing to the pests.

Aside from the presence of termite swarms from mature colonies, homeowners may also find mud tubes, frass, discarded pairs of wings, hollow walls, peeling paint, and cracks on the exterior foundation wall if there’s an active termite infestation in the property.

Here are some of the best ways to prepare your home for the next termite swarming season and all year round:

  • Fix water leaks and get rid of the different moisture issues around the house.
  • Eliminate all wood products in contact with the soil by placing them at least 5 inches off the ground.
  • Find a way to reduce moisture and humidity in the crawl spaces below the building.
  • Trim bushes, shrubs, and vines so that they’re not directly touching the walls of the building outside.
  • Remove tree stumps and timbers in buildings to prevent the termites from attacking the decayed wood.
  • Contact a pest control professional to treat the soil and apply a termiticide barrier around the perimeter of the house. 

Call Pinnacle Pest Control for Excellent Termite Extermination Services

Jim Lopez, owner of Pinnacle Pest Control

Having an active termite infestation at home is a stressful problem for many homeowners, but you don’t have to deal with this pest issue alone thanks to our team at Pinnacle Pest Control. We’re a trusted pest control company based in Sacramento with several years of experience in the pest control industry, allowing us to provide high-quality termite extermination services that remove the problem, prevent a reinfestation, and restore your home’s safety.

Get in touch with us today to book an appointment and request a free quote.

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