Termite Swarm – Few things are more disconcerting to homeowners than discovering a termite swarm in their own homes. They can seem to come out of nowhere. One day you are peacefully enjoying your life and then the next you walk into your living room and find you China cabinet swarming with tiny insects.
It is definitely enough to make your skin crawl and to make you hypersensitive to every itch and tickle on your arms, and legs and neck.
Suddenly every speck and stain in your home becomes a possible source of infestation and you are constantly tracking discolorations to see if they move or remain static.
Termite Swarm Symptom of a Deeper Problem
When you discover a swarm of insects in your home, what you are actually discovering is a symptom of an underlying disease. Not a human disease, but a disease that is ravaging your home. Your first thought will be to get rid of the termite swarm you see in front of you. You should realize, however, that even if you manage to kill the visible insects and close off the hole or crack they entered from, you have not really dealt with the deeper problem. That deeper problem may, at this very moment, be eating away at your home’s very structure.
Many exterminators consider a swarm a lucky break for a homeowner. Why? Because a termite swarm forces the homeowner to call in the exterminator when there is still a good chance of containing the problem.
Happy Hour at Termite Town
The reason a termite swarm is a lucky break is because of what it means in terms of the termite life cycle. Termites swarm when it is time to mate usually. Most of the time they are content to hang around in your rafters eating away at the wood supports to your roof. When it comes time to mate, however, termites will swarm. And once they are done mating, they will find new places to colonize.
In other words, when termites swarm that means they are about to spread.
If they had swarmed and mated unnoticed, it might be months or years before you noticed them. Which means that they would have had a much greater chance of doing even more extensive damage.
What do you do if you find a termite swarm in your home?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist then, to realize that if you have a termite swarm you should call the exterminator so that they can isolate and exterminate the termites while there is still time.
How to prevent termite infestation
The key to preventing termite infestation is removing access to termite food and water, and the conditions that enable termite infestation.
Termite Food: Wood
Termites, as you know eat wood. So one of the ways to prevent termites is to remove their food sources. Of course, you can’t remove all the wood from your home in most cases, but you can remove wood stumps and firewood adjacent to your home. This will give termites one less stepping–stone on the way to the wood in your home.
Also, to the extent that you can eliminate moisture from the areas surrounding and in your home the better. Termites need water to survive. So, any sorts of leaks or pools of water can supply them with what they need. Be sure to clean out your gutters and to fix any leaky pipes. These make for fertile breeding grounds for termites.
Termite Friendly Conditions: Mud and Cracks
The two main things that will help termites get a foothold in your home are places where muddy soil touches up against the surface of your homes and cracks. If you have a deck, for example, and it has wooden beams staked into the ground for support, this is a perfect entryway for termites to first start working on the deck and then make their way into your home.
In addition, any breaks in the skin of your home can lead to termite infection. If you have holes in the eaves of your home or cracks in the foundation, termites can use them as a way of getting into your home and, once there, beginning their colonies. Be sure to close these up.