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Watch out for Termite Swarmers this Spring

“Out of site, out of mind” can be dangerous and costly when it comes to a termite invasion in your home. While customers usually call us because they are bothered by pest activity – mouse droppings, spider bites, etc. – we sometimes find that severe damage has been done to a home by the time a customer is bothered enough by termites to give us a call. That’s because termites are quite destroyers. They come up into your home from a colony that’s usually located ten or 12 feet underground. Their attack is subtle, but over time the massive amounts of termites (an established colony can be as large as 1,000,000 members) will eat away at anything made of wood. Termites actively forage for their wooden feast 24 hours a day and seven days a week, possibly weakening support beams and structural elements of your home by eating right through them. Unfortunately, signs of termite invasion are usually in the places where people don’t notice the damage being done, like inside walls or in crawl spaces under the home. It’s pretty amazing to consider just how efficiently a termite colony works. A king and queen are responsible for the mass production of all of the members of the colony. Three main types of members make up the colony: workers, soldiers and reproductives. While workers and soldiers are busy invading your home to feed the colony, the queen survives for up to 30 years and lays an egg approximately every 15 seconds – that’s more than 5,000 new termites a day! One of the most obvious signs of termites is termite swarmer activity. This happens just about now, every spring. After a colony is well established – about three to five years – the queen will begin to produce reproductive members to go out and establish additional termite colonies. In fact, she can produce up to 30,000 new “swarmers” each year. The “termites swarms” appear each spring, when these winged termites leave the colony in a mass. Many people mistake a termite swarm for winged ants, so it’s important to note the difference: swarmers have black non-segmented bodies and two pairs of wings that are equal in length, and are approximately two to two-and-a-half times their body length. If you see these massive amounts of winged swarmers around your home, it’s almost a sure sign that you are dealing with a termite invasion. Later in the month we’ll talk about how to recognize the signs that termites are invading your home, plus ways to keep them away from your home and treatments for if you’re already under attack. Or, if you want to know more now, go ahead and read up on our termite treatment method.

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