How To Stop Swarming Termites In Your House

Swarming Termites

The lovely turn of the season brings warmer weather, longer days, and more outdoor activities. Insects start performing their important pollination dances in your garden, but there is one guest; however, that also appears with the springtime, and that is the termite. You might see one lone one and think nothing of it, but before long, you have a swarm on the way inside, so how to stop swarming termites in your house?

To stop swarming termites in your house, you will need to call a pest control expert. At the first sign of a termite, call for an immediate inspection. Once they have gotten inside your house, they can cause a great deal of damage, and these termites are notoriously challenging to get rid of without professional assistance.

The one thing most pest control experts will tell you is not to ignore termites. Even if you see one lonely termite, start to investigate the area immediately. There could be a nest close by, and they send out scouts to gather food or look for a more suitable nesting situation.

Before long, you might have a swarm forming outside your house as they find their way inside. We explore various ways to prevent swarming termites in your house and how to prevent them from possibly getting close to your house in the first place.

You’ve Spotted A Termite Swarm Outside, Now What?

Firstly, you need to identify the termites, as this will help you locate the original nest. There are several types, but the most prolific termites are the ones that will cause you the most damage. According to the source, the three types of termites you are most likely to engage are:

  • Subterranean Termites: They live below the soil surface and connect their nest to food sources via mud tubes.
  • Dampwood Termites: They do not need soil contact and prefer wood with a bit of moisture in it.
  • Drywood Termites: They don’t need contact with soil and have smaller colonies.

These three types of termites are more prolific than others in individual states, and depending on where you live, you will have different methods of prevention you can take.  If you can locate a nest that is still outside your garden’s perimeter or your house, do not waste time trying and killing the colony.

Once you call your pest expert, they will come and inspect you, identify the termite species, and work on an extermination method. You might think this is a bit neurotic; however, termites can destroy a house in 2 years. It will be worth getting expert help.

Termite Swarm Prevention Outside. What To Do

Before termites end up on the inside of your house, there are a few steps you can take to prevent them from entering in the first place. Unless they are detected through swarming, termites can go undetected for months and can cause prolific damage in that time. Below are a few steps to secure your property on the outside;

  1. Routine inspections. Be sure to inspect your property regularly and note any changes to windows, decking, and wooden parts.
  2. Stagnant water. Try to ensure there are no close water areas around the house that can lead to dampness. Termites can enter through weakened parts of the house, and some species prefer a damp environment.
  3. No wood stacking.  Remove stacked firewood directly against the house, which could well become a nesting area and food source.
  4. Tree stumps. Don’t leave any old tree stumps next to or near the house; this will be the perfect nest for a colony. Have the dead plant removed by a tree removal company.
  5. Storage in the attic. Store all goods in plastic containers, termites are not interested in eating plastic, and your items will be dust and mold-free in these containers.
  6. Mulch thickness. If you mulch your garden around the house, try to maintain the mulch barrier between the house around 4 inches. You can instead use gravel or stone next to the foundation.
  7. Professional inspection. It will be a good idea to have a professional pest control specialist do a thorough review of your whole house.

Termite Swarm Prevention Inside. What To Do

You might have had a termite colony move into your house undetected, and the first sign that you could have a problem is that you notice termite wings in the home, or you, by chance, see a termite path in a piece of a wooden panel. This needs urgent action, and this is what you should do next:

  • Call your pest control company. The pest control company will immediately schedule an inspection to determine the course of action.
  • Chemicals. The pest control company will discuss with you a schedule and explain the risks.
  • Bait stations. To get to subterranean termites, usually baiting stations are sunk into the soil close to termite paths. They will then carry the bait into the nest.
  • Liquid System. Spraying around the house and into areas where termites forage will prevent any further infestations.  
  • Tented system. For hardwood termites, the tent system fumigation is the ultimate in extermination. Your house gets covered with a heavy-duty tarp, and the fumigation will enter into every crevice, all wooden furniture and hard-to-reach spaces in between. You can return to your house safely about three days after the treatment.

Why Should I Stop Swarming Termites In My House?

In a fact sheet on the damage caused by termites in the USA, the NPMA estimates the cost to be around $5 billion annually. This is due to termites not being detected early enough and the fact that they never stop eating.

Termites can cause severe structural damage in 6 months alone, and within two years, they can cause a house to have to be demolished. Most insurance companies in the USA do not cover your home for termite damage, so you must regularly maintain a vigilant self-inspection routine apart from a yearly professional inspection.

What Chemicals Are Used To Kill Termites? Are They Safe?

According to the United States EPA, the most common active ingredients in liquid and baiting pellets are considered minimum risk pesticides with less harm to the environment; however, these are still deadly to pets and human beings if ingested. Please always follow the instructions carefully and wear the recommended PPE or personal protective equipment.

Prevention First Before Pesticide Use

  • Try prevention first. Remove excess food sources, shelter, and water that might be appealing to termites.
  • Fix leaking plumbing. Regular plumbing maintenance after winter will prevent any cracks and leaks where water can accumulate around the house.
  • Clean up clutter. Stacks of magazines, wood, and newspaper provide an excellent place for termites to shelter in, regularly clean, and move things around in Spring.
  • Secure your house outside. Check the foundations around the house, fill up gaps with stone, and push steel wool into small crevices. The less access they have, the better.
  • Check the garden perimeter. Checking the outer garden and border regularly will help you identify areas where termites could migrate from. Remove any dead plants immediately.

If you need to take care of a swarming termite colony in an emergency and cannot get a pest control expert to come on a call out, you might have to use a pesticide yourself until a professional can go and do an assessment.

How To Use Pesticide For Termites Safely. What You Should Know

If you need to take matters into your own hands, here are some helpful tips when using pesticides.

  • Read the label. Most termite pesticides will indicate the area of use, for example, outside, perimeter, direct contact, or general application. Stick to the recommended instructions.
  • Keep away from children and pets. All chemicals used in the extermination and prevention of termite colonies are poisonous to humans and pets. Keep them away from sprayed areas for a few days.
  • Wear PPE. When applying the pesticide, always wear a respirator with the correct filters, goggles, and gloves. Any skin contact can cause adverse reactions.
  • Mix according to instruction. Please do not mix the poison at double the strength; it will not work faster and might cause severe contact reactions. Follow the guideline
  • Fumigate. Only as a last resort should fumigation be considered. Call a professional

Conclusion

The thought of the damage termites can cause to your home is quite terrifying, but if you follow the easy prevention steps on how to stop swarming termites in your house, you should be able to safeguard your home from them effectively. The best course of action is to regularly let a professional company do yearly inspections to ensure swarming termites don’t move in.

Reference recourse list

  1. https://npmapestworld.org/newsroom/industry-fact-sheet/
  2. https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/termites-how-identify-and-control-them#:~:text=The%20most%20common%20active%20ingredients%20found%20in%20termite%20baits%20are,as%20a%20reduced%2Drisk%20pesticide.

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and an FHA 203k Consultant. I started PestControlInsider.com to help people better understand pest control and what they can do about invasive insects, rodents, reptiles, and other mammals around their homes.

Recent Posts