Termites won’t be swarming around the house while the rain is falling, but once it stops, look out! Thick swarms may be coming your way.
As a general rule of thumb termites swarm on a warm day after a rainfall.
Do we need to worry about swarming termites, now? The answer is, yes! Weather conditions are now perfect for termite swarming. We have just had a good soaking rain and now the prediction is for hot days ahead.
Keep your eyes peeled for these winged destroyers.
In Southern California, different termites in different regions swarm at different times of the year.
- The Western Drywood Termite – Swarms during the day any time between September and November. It may swarm earlier in northern parts of the state. It accounts for most of the drywood termite damage in California.
- The Western Subterranean Termite – Swarms during daylight hours in autumn, winter and early spring.
- The Arid-land Subterranean Termite- Swarms during daylight in spring and fall.
- The Desert Subterranean Termite- Swarms from July to September at night.
- The Formosan Termite (in San Diego County) – Swarms at night, primarily in June and July. Swarms may take place for several more months.
- The Desert Drywood Termite- Swarms in the evening from June to September.
- The Pacific Dampwood Termite- From August to October they swarm at dusk.
- The Nevada Dampwood Termite- Swarms during spring in mountain regions and in summer and early fall in coastal regions.
Southern California’s two most common termites are the Western Drywood and the Western Subterranean species. Identification is easy. Drywood’s have red heads and reddish brown bodies whereas the Subterranean is all black.
Prevention is the first defense against these homewreckers. Here are some great tips.
- Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
- Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
- Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
- Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
- Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Routinely inspect the foundation for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
- Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
- Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
- Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
If you suspect you have termites, call a professional to perform a thorough inspection. Termite extermination cannot be adequately accomplished by do it yourself measures. Do it right the first time, it saves time, money and increased damage.
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