A termite infestation is a homeowner's worst nightmare. While these cellulose munching insects are incredibly beneficial in wildlife, they, unfortunately, create billions of dollars worth of structural and agricultural damage in the United States every year. Yes, termites are active year-round, and they can infest at any time, but termite swarmers are the most likely culprit behind a new infestation. Thankfully, they only have a small window in the year to do so.
Interesting Facts About Termite Colonies
There are roughly 2,000 different species of termites worldwide, with over 40 residing in the United States alone. While there are so many different types, they all look roughly the same, measuring at ¼ to ½ of an inch long with straight antennae. Their bodies are soft and squishy, generally white to light brown in color, with large bulbous heads and powerful mandibles. On the rare chance that they are discovered, they're often mistaken for ants, even though their appearances are so distinctly different:
- Straight antennae – ants have elbowed antennae
- Anatomical segmentation – ant thoraxes and abdomens have much more pronounced segmentation, while termites have less defined waists
- Reclusive – ants leave the nest in search of food; termites generally create nests in the wood that they devour
- Exoskeleton integrity – ants have hardened exoskeletons, while termites have soft bodies
- Reproductives – winged ants have asymmetrical wings, with larger on top and smaller on the bottom; winged termites have two pair of uniform wings
More Information On Termite Swarmers
Reproductive termites, also known as termite swarmers, hold distinct differences in appearance to their worker and soldier counterparts. Growing to roughly 3/8 of an inch, these termites are also darker in color, from light to dark brown, and large symmetrical wings stretching well over the length of their bodies. Once a mate has been found, they shed their wings at the entrance of their new nesting site.
Termite swarmers are active in Syracuse approximately between March and May. Once they've reached maturity, they leave their nests in search of a mate and a habitable nesting place. Thankfully, due to environmental hazards and natural prey, most termite swarmers will die in pursuit of these necessities. If there's a large enough termite presence in your area, though, this could mean that hundreds of reproductive termites stand a chance at survival.
How Can I Make My Syracuse Home Less Inviting To Termite Swarmers?
There are plenty of ways to safeguard your home during swarming season, from limiting exposed wood to making your property less habitable:
- Repair and cover any exposed wood on the exterior of your home
- Maintain well-draining soil around the foundation of your home
- Keep branches of bushes and shrubs trimmed at least 6 inches away from the exterior siding
- Repair any cracks and holes in the foundation and outside-leading walls; target areas being pipes and wiring
- Fix leaks in roof and pipes immediately; moisture and water damage are highly attractive to termites
- Store firewood and wood-based debris well away from the foundation of your home
Signs Of An Infestation In My Syracuse Home, And How To Eliminate Them
Discovering an ongoing termite infestation can be difficult at best, and early warning signs can be almost impossible to spot. If you notice scale-like debris around the door frames or on the window sills of your home, you may be looking at the telltale signs that termite swarmers have deemed your Syracuse home worthy of habitation. Beyond that, the only way to discover a termite infestation is a close inspection of your walls and foundation:
- Mud tubes climbing up the outer foundation of your home
- Pinprick holes in the walls, even sheetrock
- Softwood that sounds hollow when tapped
- Small piles of refuse resembling sawdust at entrance points
- Darkened and blistering walls
- Water damage in unusual locations of the home
If you find that your Syracuse home has become overrun by these silent destroyers, it might be time to call in the professionals. At Pestmaster® Services, we use top of the line pest control equipment and pesticides in all of our treatments. With over 40 years of experience, we've adapted our pest control procedures to utilize the best methods while staying completely environmentally friendly, ensuring the safety of your loved ones while also eliminating the pest problems plaguing your home. Termite infestations aren't something to mess around with. Don't delay, contact us today!