In Oklahoma City, you will likely see swarming termites from early March through the middle of June, with the climax in April.
A “swarmer,” or Alate, is a winged reproductive termite, both male and female. When they have matured, swarmers fly away in a swarm from their colony of birth and pair off to found a new colony of their own. When locating a new home, swarmers look for access to food, water, and shelter. Once they have selected a location for their new colony, they lose their wings, take shelter, and begin reproducing. The ideal time to see a swarm of Alates would be a moist or humid, warm spring day.
First Sign of Termites
The first sign of termites is the swarmers, but just because you see one, you should not assume you have an infestation.
If you see the left over wings around your home, you should be more concerned as this indicates they have chosen that location to attempt to build a colony. When you have significant swarming around your home, this is likely a good time to hire an OKC pest control professional to begin a monitoring program of your home.
You can see swarmers in the spring, but they are difficult to detect the remainder of the year while they attempt to build a colony.
After swarmers nest, they assume the role as king and queen. You will likely never see them again. Move your attention to workers and soldiers. Neither will be winged. The workers, especially, may occasionally be seen foraging for new food and water.
Look for them where moist wood exists. If you see a worker, you probably have an infestation. Call a pest control professional to provide an opinion on a treatment.
Second Sign of Termites
The next sign you should look for is mud tunnels built by the termites. These are a telltale sign of an actual infestation.
If you see a mud tunnel, you know the colony is thriving and growing. Termites use mud tunnels to travel to and from new food, water and shelter. The tunnels protect them from sunlight and predators. If you see mud tunnels, you need to immediately call a pest control professional to provide an opinion on a treatment.
Third Sign of Termites
Next, look for hollow sounding wood and gaps in wood. Once you find these, you can be confident you have a problem. The hollow wood and gaps in the wood could also be ants, but either way, they must be eradicated to protect your home. Sometimes you will also see paint cracking or pulling away from the wall. These signs will most likely occur near moist or rotten wood.
Fourth Sign of Termites
One more telltale sign is fecal droppings from termites. This is a very important sign since it is one of the most visible signs of termites. What termites do not consume they “kick out” of their nest.
They do this by creating an exit hole from their tunnels and pushing out a sand-like matter. This matter will appear to range in color from tan to black. The identifiers are the hole, which will be easily visible, and a small pile of the fecal pellets below the hole.
Early on when the hole is new, there may be more of a scatter of pellets rather than a pile until enough time has passed for the pile to develop. This is again a situation where you will want to immediately contact an OKC pest control professional to eradicate the termites and stop the continuation of damage.
There are many other possibilities when determining an infestation from a wood destroying insect. Many other insects like carpenter ants can easily create substantial amounts of damage to your home. When you don’t know the answer, call our experts: (405) 926-0814