The first thing is – don’t panic! Termite swarms are common in Florida. Different termite species swarm much of the year in Florida in their quest to establish new colonies, but few actually survive.
Swarmers In Your Home
If you find winged swarmer’s (alates) inside your home, first look to see if you find them on the exterior around doors/windows. If you see them outside, the ones on the inside are typically part of a natural swarm and they are not part of a colony located inside your home.
If you find winged swarmer’s inside your home but none appear to be outside, look for small exit holes in the drywall or wood where you see the most evidence such as loose wings, frass or dead bodies. This typically indicates there is a colony located within your home.
Termites typically swarm in seasonal cycles:
|Specie||Swarm Cycle||Reproductive Cycle*|
|Eastern subterranean termite
Formosan subterranean termite
|November – April, in the morning
April – July, at dusk
May – August, in evenings
*The amount of time it typically takes for a colony to produce alate swarmer’s. For example, if Eastern subterranean termite swarmer’s are exiting your wall in September, with no evidence of an outside swarm, it is probable the colony is inside your home, and it is at least five years old.
If you recently purchased the home/office and if you hired a WDO/termite inspector, you should request a re-inspection. You should not automatically assume the inspector is liable for treatment/damage even if the colony is within the structure. A WDO inspection is a visible inspection and there is not always evidence of an active infestation. A WDO/termite inspection is a snapshot in time. Most licensed inspectors will treat the infestation at a discounted or no cost even if they are not liable and for that reason, new home buyers are advised to only hire WDO inspectors employed by full-service pest control companies. Many WDO inspectors are associated with companies who only perform inspections and they may not have the capability to fully identify/treat the problem internally. They may refute the claim or attempt to offer a small cash settlement in return for a release of any liability. Of course, you can sue, but you should understand termite damage claims can take years to resolve in the court system and few consumers are fully satisfied in the end. What you need is a responsive, fair, and qualified treatment.
The second thing you don’t do is start calling differing pest control companies to inspect when you see a swarm! Trust me, if a termite salesman sees swarmer’s, they will advise you that you need treatment or fumigation or both. Finding a few swarmer’s inside your sliding glass door during swarm season does not mean you need treatment!
What you need to know
- What type of termite is it and is it swarming from inside your home.
- If it is associated with an outside swarm, do I have current protection and how can it be monitored.
The best way to get that information is by hiring a termite inspector who uses TermaTrac® to locate hidden termites within the walls, ceilings, or floors. TermaTrac® uses moisture sensing and radar to locate termites (ants, rodents and bees too). By pinpointing the exact location/movement of the termites, we can often save consumers hundreds/thousands in treatment costs by treating the colony rather than the whole structure. You may not need to fumigate the home.
Less than 1% of WDO/termite inspectors in Florida have the TermaTrac® system. It is expensive to purchase, and many are far to eager to sell fear rather than technical expertise which may save the consumer. If you order the “FREE” inspection, you should not be surprised when the salesman gives you a $5,000 treatment quote.
A detailed and qualified TermaTrac® inspection may cost $450 for most homes, but you will not only have the absolute best information, but you may also save a lot of money if treatment is truly warranted.
One of the oldest and biggest users of the patented TermaTrac® system is 360PestControl. While Property360 is performing a home or commercial building inspection, make sure to also have 360PestControl perform a WDO/terminte inspection. Visit www.360pestpro.com for more information or contact us at (904) 503-9808.