It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, Nope It’s Termites!
You got it New Orleans, Spring may bring flowers but it also means it is Termite Season. This means we do everything to avoid attracting the little winged bugs away from the street lights into our homes and of course we will worry about them eating our homes. But no matter what light you turn off, they always seem to get in, and even if you do not see them, they leave their discarded wings like bread crumbs to show that they’ve arrived and are searching for a good place colonize.
Swarming is our warning that termites are in the process of trying to establish new colonies. As the colony grows, specialized castes are produced for the different tasks required. One caste produced is the workers (Pale, cream colored), another caste is the soldiers (Light colored with brown head), and a third caste is the reproductives. Primary reproductives (Dark brown/Black) swarm and start new colonies and they are called alates or swarmers. Thousands of primary reproductives may be produced each year and they all leave the nest. Supplementary reproductives (Light colored), on the other hand, can become reproductive only in the colonies in which they were born. They assist the primary king and queen in population growth of the colony.
The most important question is what do to prevent termites from invading our homes? Luckily, there are some very good preventative measures that all home owners should take to avoid a termite infestation. The following are some of the best termite preventative maintenance actions:
- Store firewood away from the house.
- Make sure at least four inches of the foundation can be seen all around the home. Siding should not extend into the soil. Mulch and soil should not touch the siding.
- Make sure water drains away from the foundation to ensure water does not accumulate. Rain gutters are ideal; however, the downspout should direct the water away from the home.
- Roof or plumbing leaks can allow termites to survive above ground in a house. These should be corrected as soon as possible.