Termite Swarming Season Is Approaching: Here Is What You Need To Know

April 10th, 2023

Termite Swarming Season Is Approaching Here Is What You Need To Know

As spring slowly creeps in, the anticipation of the termite swarming season also begins to grow in Florida. As a homeowner, you need to be aware of the potential risks that termites pose to your property. Termites are notorious for causing significant structural damage to homes. In fact, termites are estimated to cause $30 billion in damage annually. Unfortunately, most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover termite damage.

The University of Florida's research indicates that there are approximately 15 active subterranean termite colonies per acre of land in Florida, which equates to approximately five colonies per house. With such staggering numbers, it is essential to understand termite swarming behavior and learn how to identify the signs of a potential infestation. Being proactive about termite control is vital to prevent significant damage to your property and save you from costly repairs.

Here Is What You Need To Know About Termite Swarming Season

When is Termite Season?

Termite season in Florida typically starts in late February or early March when temperatures start to rise, and humidity increases. This period usually lasts until May or June, but it can sometimes extend to July. During this time, winged termites, also known as swarmers, emerge from their underground colonies to mate and start new colonies.

Swarmers are attracted to light and will often fly toward sources of light, such as streetlights, porch lights, or windows. Once they mate, they will shed their wings and start building a new colony. These new colonies can cause severe damage to homes and other wooden structures.

It is important to note that even though termite swarming season occurs during this period, termites are active all year round in Florida. They are most active in warm, humid weather, and will continue to cause damage to homes and other wooden structures throughout the year.

How Long Does a Termite Swarm Last?

The duration of a termite swarm varies depending on various factors, including weather conditions, temperature, and location. Typically, a termite swarm lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. However, the entire swarming process, from the emergence of the swarmers to the shedding of their wings, can take several hours.

Once the swarmers mate, they will shed their wings and start looking for a suitable location to start a new colony. The process of establishing a new colony can take anywhere from a few months to a year, depending on the termite species and environmental conditions.

Types of Florida Termites and Their Swarming Behavior

There are several types of termites that are commonly found in Florida, each with its unique swarming behavior.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are the most common termite species found in Florida. They live in underground colonies and are often responsible for significant damage to homes and other structures. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring and summer, typically after rainfall, and are  attracted to light. Also, these termites build mud tubes that extend from the soil to their food sources, which can be found in wooden structures, trees, and other plant materials. They are able to cause extensive damage to a property before being detected, as their activity is hidden within the walls and foundation of the structure.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are another termite species found in Florida. Unlike subterranean termites, they live in dry wood and do not require contact with the soil. They typically swarm during the summer months and are attracted to light. Drywood termite swarmers are usually smaller than subterranean termite swarmers.

Formosan Termites

Formosan termites are a particularly aggressive species of termite found in Florida. They are capable of causing significant damage to structures in a short amount of time. They are often found in large numbers, and their swarms can be quite massive, with up to several million termites in a single colony. Unlike subterranean termites, Formosan termites can also create secondary colonies above ground, making them even more difficult to control.

Conehead Termites

Conehead termites are a relatively new termite species that has recently been introduced to Florida. They are aggressive and capable of causing significant damage to structures. Conehead termites live in large colonies in the ground and can quickly infest structures. They are known for their aggressive feeding habits and their ability to destroy wood at an alarming rate.

Eastern Subterranean Termites

Eastern subterranean termites are another common termite species found in Florida. They live in underground colonies and are often responsible for significant damage to homes and other structures. Eastern subterranean termites swarm in the spring and summer, typically after rainfall. Signs of an infestation may include mud tubes on the exterior walls or foundation of a structure, damaged or hollow-sounding wood, and discarded wings.

Florida Powderpost Termites

Florida powderpost termites are a species of drywood termite, common in South Florida. They infest hardwoods and are capable of causing damage to furniture, flooring, and other wooden objects in the house. These termites are known for their ability to turn wooden objects into powder-like material. Florida powderpost termites are difficult to detect as they live and feed inside the wood, making it challenging to identify an infestation. Signs of an infestation may include small exit holes on wooden surfaces and the presence of powdery frass, which is the termite's excrement.

It's essential to address a termite infestation as soon as possible because the longer it goes untreated, the more damage the termites can cause to your property. Signs of a termite infestation include mud tubes on the walls, floors, or foundation of your home, swarming termites, discarded wings, and soft, hollow-sounding wood. If you suspect that you have a termite infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional immediately.

At Green Solutions Lawn Care & Pest Control, we offer comprehensive termite control services, including subterranean baiting systems, to protect your home from termite damage. Contact us at 813-684-7336 to schedule an appointment and keep your home termite-free.