What time of year do termites generally appear? This is, perhaps, the wrong question to ask. While termites will only swarm at certain times of the year, those with an existing infestation, you can count on it being “termite season” all year long. This, sadly, is unrelated to the presence of swarms that tend to happen in the spring. Nonetheless, this is when termites are most noticeable.
Swarming Season for Termites
The swarming season begins in the spring and extends through the early summer. Termites prefer warm days, low winds and are most active the day after a rainfall. This is true of the vast majority of subterranean termites, the ones that cause millions of dollars in damage every year across the U.S.
There are some species (such as drywood termites) that swarm in the late summer and early fall, but by and large, the majority of the swarming is done in the spring and early summer. When a termite species is likely to swarm depends on their individual needs.
April Showers, May Flowers, and Termite Swarms
We’ve already established that some species of termites prefer moisture, but these species’ swarming habits can also be linked to the blooming of certain plant life. For Eastern subterranean termites, swarming will coincide with the blooming dogwood tree buds.
When the majority of people are thinking about swarming season for termites, they are thinking about the spring and early summer. This is because subterranean termite swarms are generally much larger than drywood termite swarms. So that becomes the metric by which people talk about swarming season for termites. It is the time of the season when the species of termites that are most likely to cause serious damage to your home are the most noticeable and active.
What Do Termites Do All Summer?
While spring is swarming season, it is a time of great upheaval in the termite colony. Termites are divided into three castes, workers, reproductive termites, and warrior termites who are all given direction by their queen. In spring with its constant bombardment of rain and moisture, the termite colony that was once thriving has now seen the collapse of some of its tunnels. Many of the colony’s workers have died and it’s become time to replenish the workforce.
At this time, the secondary queens begin producing more eggs and the population is fortified with new workers. The top layer of soil is usually nice and moist giving the termites great access to food.
Fall Swarming for Termites
Some termites wait until fall to begin their swarming season. Others may begin swarming later in the spring before swarming. The majority of these termites can be found in Mideastern and southern states. Those in the deep south may even wait till November to begin their swarming season.
What Do Termites Do in the Winter?
Termites hunker down, so to speak, in quite a literal way. Subterranean termites will dig deep into the soil looking for warmth so that they can survive the winter. Worker termites remain active in the winter months, foraging deep below the surface of the earth. But all of this depends on their ability to sense the cold.
Some termites, especially those that have access to soil around heated buildings or heated buildings themselves, will see their activities change very little in these months. These are the termites that do the most damage to homes and buildings.
Since termites are attracted to certain areas because of the heat once the weather begins to change, they can easily be attracted to places (like your home or the area surrounding your home) where the weather seems to never change. Queens will lay eggs at a steady rate instead of in fits and bursts like termites that are subjected to seasonal cycles. Termites that infesting a climate-controlled building will not see any significant disruption to their activities. This makes them all the more necessary to get rid of.
So When is Termite Season?
Technically, there is no termite season. Termites that are subjected to seasonal changes in climates where the seasons are very different will begin making new termites in the spring while termites that are hole up in a nice climate-controlled building will continue business as usual all year round.
Regardless of the time of year, homeowners and commercial property owners must maintain constant vigilance to ensure that their homes are protected from termites. These hardy little creatures adapt well to their circumstances and if they’re not forced deeper underground, then they’ll conduct business as usual all year long.
Pointe Pest Control Services the U.S. Northwest
If you’re dealing with termites in your home, the right time to eradicate them is immediately. Call Pointe Pest Control today and we can conduct a free home inspection and then recommend treatments for safeguarding your most important asset.