Termite Invasion Timeline
- Termites turn into larger, sexually mature “swarmers” with wing buds.
- Swarmers leave the nest by flying through mud tubes.
- These mud tubes connect underground colonies to food sources such as wood materials in houses.
- Termites called supplementary reproductives “back-up” the primary queen by producing extra eggs & expanding the colony’s foraging territory.
- If the colony queen dies or if a part of the colony is isolated from the queen, supplementary reproductives take on the role of the queen.
- As a colony increases in size, foragers form satellite colonies: They create tunnel systems in the soil.
- These tunnels connect colonies to food sources such wood materials in houses.
- Termites swarm throughout the warm season, but not as much as during springtime.
- Colonies may swarm multiple times. Later swarms do not match the intensity of the first swarm.
- Subterranean termites swarm during the day, although Formosan termites (a species of subterranean termite) swarm at night.
- Swarm flights are brief, aided by prevailing winds.
- Winged termites do not fly too far but can be carried great distances by strong wind.
3 ways to get rid of termites…
- Set up a cardboard trap.
Take a couple flat strips of cardboard, wet them, and stack them on one another in an area where termites are likely to be. Because termites feed on cellulose (cardboard), this makes for an excellent spot trap. When the cardboard is infested with termites, take it out in a safe area and burn it. Repeat multiple times, if necessary.
- Try beneficial nematodes.
Beneficial nematodes are small unsegmented worm species that are natural parasites to garden pests, including termites. These nematodes search for hosts, such as termite larvae, and burrow into them, usually causing death within 48 hours.
- Use rubber in lieu of wood mulch. Zero food source=zero termites.