When Does Each Termite Species In Louisiana Swarm?

Since the spring season has finally arrived, termite swarms will become far more frequent in the state of Louisiana. Winged termite swarmers (alates) in the state take the rising spring temperatures as a cue to begin swarming. Unlike subterranean termites, the state’s four drywood termite species do not dwell within soil; intead, they infest individual pieces of wood, making their colonies easier to locate than subterranean termite colonies. Also, drywood termite colonies live in far less populated colonies than subterranean termites, as drywood colonies usually contain between a few hundred to a few thousand individual termites, as opposed to the 50,000 to 3 million termites that dwell within eastern subterranean termite colonies, not to mention Formosan subterranean termite colonies, which can contain as many as 50 million termites. Therefore, the vast majority of termite destruction in Louisiana and elsewhere is perpetrated by subterranean termite species, and the damage they cause is far more extensive in comparison to drywood termite damage.

Most termite control programs are geared solely toward subterranean termites, and these termites are easily the most economically costly in terms of termite treatments and termite damage repairs in Louisiana. While drywood colonies mostly limit their infestations to individual pieces of wood that are out in the open, subterranean colonies cannot be easily monitored, located or quantified due to their cryptic habitat below the soil’s surface. Therefore, subterranean termite swarms serve as the best indicator as to where subterranean termite colonies are located.

The most voracious termite species in Louisiana is the Formosan subterranean termite. Unlike all other termite species in the US, Formosans make a habit out of attacking both structures and numerous tree species. These termites swarm during May and June at dusk. The alates of this species possess a dark brown-colored head with hairy yellowish bodies. The most common termite species, the eastern subterranean termite, swarms during the day in between January and March, and occasionally during the fall in Louisiana. Alates of this species have a dark brown to black body and are slightly smaller than the Formosan. The dark southern subterranean termite swarms during the day during March and April and sometimes during the late fall. Alates of this species closely resemble the eastern subterranean termite, as they have dark-colored bodies, but they are a bit smaller in size.

Have you ever properly found a dead termite alate or its wings within your home?


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