Leave The Lights On For Termites

picture of lights with a black background

At Terminix, we recommend leaving the lights on when termites first swarm. This may seem very strange for most locals, because termites are attracted to light. But, this is the exact reason to leave the lights on….it is the perfect opportunity to check for a termite infestation.

Why Do Termites Swarm?

Alates, or swarming termites, are the reproductive members of a termite colony. Most members of a termite colony are worker termites that damage structures as they feed. The alates’ sole purpose is to leave the colony and reproduce. The good news is that alates do not sting, bite, or even eat wood.

The alates do not swarm all year long, but actually wait for the right conditions to ensure the highest probability of survival. They are not strong fliers and most only have a short flight. When they land, their wings separate from their bodies and they pair with a mating partner. Most of the termite swarmers are not successful at finding a new place to start a family. Most will die within a few hours from dehydration and predators enjoy the termite buffet too. But, for the lucky couples that do survive, the king and queen will start their new families very quickly.

Depending on the size of the colony and other factors, there maybe only a few swarmers or there maybe thousands. In Louisiana, we can expect millions of swarmers exiting from multiple colonies on the same day, but it can occur over a period of a few weeks. This is the best opportunity for property owners to see if their property is infested with termites.

When the termites begin to swarm, turn the lights on in your home. Go to each room and see if termites are flying around. A few termites flying around near a door leading outside is most likely not a problem, but a bunch flying around inside the home may mean their is a termite infestation. After you have looked inside your home, take a moment to look outside your home. Check the foundation and trees near your home. If you find a lot of termites near your foundation or coming out of a tree, you may have a termite problem. Remember, when termites swarm, it is only the alates flying around, the rest of the colony is still in the nest. By leaving the lights on, property owners have the perfect opportunity to find the termite colony and begin taking steps to remove them.

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