a termite swarm on the ground

Contrary to popular belief, termite season does not refer to a specific time of the year when termites are active. In fact, termites are actively building their colonies quietly and quickly all year long. Instead, termite season refers to times when termites can be seen swarming, which is frequently during May through November. However, here in Oklahoma, you will most likely witness a termite swarm during the spring and summer months. 

Termites are silent destroyers. They are difficult to detect and will cause significant structural damage to your home before you know they're present. Once termites swarm, you can assume that a colony is well established, and you should contact a professional for termite extermination options immediately.

What Is Swarming?

As colonies of termites become established and successful, they will produce swarmers or alates destined to mate and form a sister colony nearby. After mating, their wings drop off. If you don't see the swarm itself, you may notice the fallen iridescent wings on floors or window sills.

The female of each of the pairings becomes a queen for a new colony of termites. The queen lays eggs that hatch and produce the workers and soldiers for the new colony. Workers provide food for colony members and take care of the young while soldiers protect the colony from outside threats. A single queen can lay up to a million eggs during her lifespan.

Termites Are Silent Destroyers

Subterranean termites love to eat wood. They tunnel through the very foundation of your home, eating their fill. Since they leave the surface intact, it's practically impossible to spot termite activity, especially during its early stages. Drywood termites are slower to do damage than subterranean termites but can eventually be just as destructive. The National Pest Management Association states, "Termites alone cause over $5 billion in property damage annually, a cost not covered by homeowners insurance." They also point out that "Subterranean termites eat 24/7, making them the most destructive species of termite found in the U.S." Estimates say that a colony of termites can eat up to a foot of wood every six months, with some species moving even faster. It's easy to see how this could cause a great deal of damage in a small period of time.

Signs Of A Termite Infestation

Termite infestations are notoriously difficult to detect. However, there are some signs that you can look for to determine whether or not you have a termite problem. 

  • Swarmers are usually the first sign of a termite infestation. Some species of termites are attracted to light and fly at night. Drywood termites tend to swarm after it rains. Flying termites are a sign that you almost certainly have something to be concerned about.
  • You are unlikely to see the termites themselves, but if you do, you may mistake them for white ants. Often, swarmers are confused with flying ants. However, unlike flying ants, swarming termites have two sets of wings that are equal in length.
  • Termites clean the colony of their droppings or frass. You may see piles of frass resembling sawdust along the baseboards of your home.
  • Worker and soldier termites cannot survive when exposed to light. Therefore, they create mud tubes that connect their colony to their nest. Look for mud tubes in your basement and along the foundation of your home.
  • Sounds behind your wall can indicate the soldiers drumming. They hit their head against the wall when their colony is threatened. If you listen closely, you may hear a soft clicking inside of your walls.
  • Hollow-sounding wood is another sign of termite activity. Since termites eat wood from the inside out, wood will sound hollow when tapped.

When it comes to termites, the best offense is a good defense. By implementing year-round termite control, you can prevent a problem before it starts. If you suspect you have a termite problem, it's imperative that you partner with a local pest control company. 

How To Combat A Termite Problem In Your Oklahoma City Home

So what does termite season mean for your Oklahoma City Home? If you spot any signs of a termite infestation, it means you need professional help immediately. DIY methods are no match for a termite infestation. When you have termites in your Oklahoma City home, Pestmaster® Services is the answer. Our termite control experts can identify your termite problem, eliminate termites in your home and develop a customized plan to prevent them from returning in the future.

To learn more about year-round pest control in Oklahoma City, reach out to the experts at Pestmaster® Services. Whether you're dealing with termites or other pests, we are here for you. We can help answer all your questions about local area pests and how to keep them out of your home.

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