Termite Swarming Season Explained & What It Could Mean For Your Home

Termites can be a homeowner's worst nightmare, but understanding their habits and preparing for swarming season can help you avoid an invasion. There are surefire signs that you are experiencing an infestation, but one of the more disturbing and obvious symptoms is witnessing a swarm. A swarm occurs when termites are looking for a new home and join together to create a colony. Swarms can happen at any time, but they are more prominent during termite swarming season, which is a period during the year when they are looking to reproduce and need a steady food source to do so.

Termite swarming season occurs mainly in the spring and into the summer. Most species of termites tend to swarm more commonly after a rainstorm, when the weather is calm and humid. But don't just look out for termites in the spring and summer — some species, like the drywood termite, will swarm well into the fall. So what do you do if you witness swarming in your home? Here's what it could mean and what you can do to stop it.

What termite swarming means for your home

If you are witness to a termite swarm at your house, it's a tell-tale sign that you need to contact a professional. A termite swarm is described as a ton of termites flying towards a light source on or near your home, with more joining over a 30 or 40 minute period. If you are able to see a termite swarm, you'll be well aware that it's occurring, but if you do not witness it yourself, you can tell it happened if you see dead termites and their wings scattered around a window, a light source, or if it occurred inside, your furniture.

A termite swarm can indicate the beginning of a larger termite problem. Even if you see a ton of dead termites, it does not mean that you're in the clear. Since termites are so small, it can be hard to see that they have infiltrated until the damage starts to occur. If you do have termite damage, you'll start to notice mud tubes forming, wings scattered throughout, and even paint cracks or a droop in your ceiling.

What to do during and after a termite swarm

If you are enjoying a nice afternoon and suddenly become privy to a termite swarm, your first reaction is likely to, well, freak out. But, panicking can only make the situation worse. Being prepared can help stop the swarm in its tracks and avoid any future damage. The best thing you can do is try to contain the termites to one area so they do not spread. You can do this by shutting the door to the room or area they are in or putting a plastic bag over exit holes, allowing them to fly into the bag rather than inside your home. You can also try to vacuum up the live termites, just make sure you secure the bag and empty it out right after.

And while you want to keep the swarm contained, you don't want to seal up exit holes completely. If you do, the termites will just find another exit source, making matters even worse. After a swarm occurs, there are ways to get rid of the termites, but the best thing you can do is call a termite expert, who can help you get rid of the bugs before they infest your home. If you can, try to save a few of the termites in a bag to show them before throwing away, as different termites require different extermination methods.