Friday, September 11, 2009

The Attack of the Termites!

Yes, those flying insects, dropping wings and landing all over your porch are probably termites. But, don't worry, chances are they are agricultural termites. San Antonio has had this happen before - after a wonderful, long, hard rain, following an extensive drought, agricultural termites take advantage of the humidity and swarm. These swarms are mating flights. They fly up in the air, mate, land back on the ground, and drop their wings. The females go off to find a place to lay their eggs, and the males usually die.

Sometimes the termites are attracted to porch lights left on a night. This is probably where you are finding them congregating.

If you are finding termites swarming right now, 99 times of 100 they are agricultural termites. But, if you are concerned, send them into the Bexar County Extension Office for me to identify them.

If you contact a pest control company and they tell you they are structural damaging termites without ever pulling out a microscope or really good hand lens - send them away! It takes more than just a good eye to know if they are friend or foe. Professionals use a microscope, check out the wing venation and little tiny structures on the top of the termites head. None of which can be seen well with the naked eye - no matter how well those eyes work!

Since these termites do not damage structures, I would not treat for them. You don't know where they are exactly and its a waste of time and money and pesticide to spray the yard haphazardly.

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