Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Mother's Day Swarmers-Horror Story in the Summer!

Yes, it sounds like a Halloween horror story in May, and they should be feared! Around Mother's Day is the time of year we find Formosan Termites doing their mating flights, or swarming. These are definitely not good termites to have!

If you see termites swarming this time of year, contact a qualified pest control company who deals with termites on a regular basis. Formosan termites are very destructive termites, that can cause major damage in less time than our active subterranean termites.

"Formosan vs Native Sub Termites"
Photo courtesy of University of Georgia, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Formosan Termites are also bad because they do not always need an association with soil, which means they can remain trapped in your attic, continuing to do damage, even if you've had a barrier treatment around your house. Therefore, identification is extremely important.

Formosan Termites have been in Texas for decades, and have been found in Bexar County in several locations. It is highly thought that they are spread through human movement of landscape timbers and railroad ties. They can also feed on live trees, and research has shown their favorite to be pecan trees.

Formosan Termites swarmers are light brown in color; their wings are tinted brown and translucent, as opposed to the dark brown and whitish winged native subterranean termites. Under the microscope, an entomologist looks at the veins as well. Workers look very similar to subterranean termites, but the shape of the workers head is tear drop shaped, not rectangular. If you think you have them, contact the Extension office or a qualified pest management professional who can either identify them positively or send them to A & M for identification.

These are not termites you should "sit and wait out". Treatment is important, and proper treatment is vital!