Every pest has its own season, and each pest season changes based on the location and climate of where they can be found. Here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, due to our lower year-round temperatures and longer winters, pests such as termites only have a short pest season, lasting from March through June. The biggest problem we face here in Pittsburgh is with termites that invade our homes during this time, then remaining and thriving year-round due to the warmer climates the interiors of our homes provide them. One of the ways termites invade is through a process called swarming.
What is a termite swarm?
A termite swarm occurs when a colony of termites reaches maturity and a need for expansion arises. This usually occurs once a year, when a colony produces hundreds, or even thousands, of termite swarmers (winged termites) that are then tasked with scouting out potential areas to build a colony.
If you are seeing winged termites around your home, you have a good reason to be concerned, because it means one of two things:
Your home is at risk of a termite infestation.
Or, you already have a mature termite colony thriving somewhere within the structural wood of your home.
If a termite infestation is not already present in your home, the only way to keep swarming termites from settling down in your home or on your property is if they are unable to find the conditions they need to thrive.
Conditions That Allow Termites to Thrive
Subterranean termites, the most common termite species found here in Pittsburgh, require a few factors to survive and thrive within your home.
A lot of moisture. By nature, subterranean termites need moisture to survive. For this reason, they will seek to invade areas of homes that are high in humidity, and will only infest into soft wood that is water-damaged.
Wood that is in direct contact with the exterior of your home. If termites are invading from the exterior of your home, they will look for easy ways to get from the soil they are infesting straight to the wood of your home. If you have wood that is making contact with the soil outside your home, termites will find it much easier to invade.
Cracks in your home's exterior. If your home does not have wood directly touching soil outside, cracks or gaps in your home's foundation are the next best way to get inside. Using a process called mud tubing, termites build highways through these cracks to gain access to the higher wood of your home.
It’s Time to Call the Professionals
If you are seeing termite swarmers scouting around your home, it is time to give the professionals here at Witt Pest Management a call. You will never regret safeguarding your home against the major threats termites pose.