Formosan Subterranean Termite Swarmers Are Unique In That Their Indoor Presence Does Not Necessarily Indicate That An Infestation Has Been Established Within A Home
The three most common clues indicating that a home has become infested with subterranean termites include the presence of living or dead termite swarmers (alates) within a home, the presence of termite “shelter tubes” located vertically along the exterior foundation walls and/or within the crawl space, and of course, the presence of termite damage. Reproductive alates only emerge from mature colonies that have aged five to seven years. Therefore, in addition to indicating that an infestation has become established within a home, the presence of indoor alates also indicates that at least one subterranean termite colony has been inhabiting the home for several years.
The subterranean termite species that are most commonly found infesting homes throughout Louisiana include eastern, light southern, and most commonly of all, Formosan subterranean termites. While encountering subterranean termite alates within a home strongly indicates that the home is infested, it is possible to find a small number of Formosan subterranean termite alates within homes that are not infested. This is only because Formosan subterranean termite alates, unlike alates from all other subterranean termite species, are strongly attracted to artificial light sources, such as porch lights, street lights and indoor lights.
Massive swarms comprised of around 70,000 individual alates take flight from one single colony of Formosan subterranean termites shortly after dusk from April to July. Given the unusually large size of Formosan swarms, as well as the abundance of Formosan colonies within urban and suburban areas of Louisiana, it is not uncommon for numerous alates to fly into homes due to their attraction to artificial lights. This is especially true when only a few dozen Formosan alates are found around light fixtures indoors, but if more than 100 Formosan alates are found indoors, a termite inspection should be carried out as quickly as possible. Alates of the Formosan subterranean termite species can be recognized for their light brown body that is around half an inch in length, and their wings are covered in numerous hairs.
Have you ever discovered Formosan subterranean termite alates within your home?
Tags: Termite Control, Termite Exterminator, Termites