December 30, 2009

When Is Best Time to Inspect for Termites?

During the winter months before termites begin to swarm is the best time to have your northern New Jersey home inspected for possible termite infestation. Northern New Jersey is home to the Eastern subterranean termite which begins swarming as early as March with termite swarms continuing through April and May. Swarming is the behavior termites use to expand and create new colonies.

Because Eastern subterranean termites live underground, tunneling into your home to feast on structural wood timbers, most homeowners never know they have a problem until considerable damage has been done. In northern New Jersey, termite problems are typically discovered when a homeowner sees evidence of mud trails in the basement, during regular home protection inspections by qualified pest control professionals or when termites swarm in the spring.

A homeowner may notice hundreds of tiny, winged, ant-like insects milling around in “puddles” on his lawn not far from foundation walls. Dozens of flying termites may form clouds of insects near front doors or in basements or kitchens. Termite swarms indicate that a termite colony has grown too large for the available food supply. It generally takes 2 to 4 years of termite infestation before termites swarm in northern New Jersey. Led by a new queen, these clouds of termites fly off in search of a new home. They shed their wings on landing and quickly burrow into the soil and toward a new house to feast on.