That’s a great question and we’ll get to the answer shortly. But first, let’s discuss termites and carpenter ants. These are wood-destroying insects that are unfortunately found here in Tennessee. And when we say wood destroying, we mean they are capable of inflicting significant damage to structures. Industry professionals have estimated that termites alone are responsible for over five billion dollars in damages every year!
Though they are both a serious threat to structures, termites and carpenter ants invade for different reasons. Termites infest dwellings and facilities looking for food (and by food, we mean wood) to consume. They will literally begin eating away at the structure and especially love water-damage or rotting wood. Carpenter ants, on the other hand, are excavators of wood. They don’t eat it but rather create tunnels and galleries for nesting. Regardless of their mission, both pests are a threat to houses and buildings.
Now, getting back to swarms… Both termites and carpenter ants reproduce and when they do a phenomenon called a “swarm” will occur. A swarm consists of large numbers of reproductive members of the colony. They are winged insects that take flight in order to find a mate and start a new colony. In Tennessee, swarms are likely to occur from mid-April to mid-May. Although very uncommon, they have been known to swarm as early as February and March.
If you witness a termite swarm on your property, that does not necessarily mean you have an infestation. It does mean that there is a colony of termites or carpenter ants somewhere nearby. If a swarm occurs inside your home, it’s likely to be near a window because these winged insects are trying to get outside to start their new family. This also means that your home is currently infested. Please, please don’t grab your vacuum and suck these insects up and forget it ever happened. Trust us when we tell you this is a serious pest problem that won’t simply go away!
We do recommend grabbing a plastic bag and contacting a pest control professional in Nashville to identify the swarm. Termite and carpenter ant treatments vary greatly so proper identification is a must!
If you’ve witnessed a swarm in or around your property or simply want to learn more about these pests and how you can protect your Nashville home or business, contact All-American Pest Control today! Our locally owned pest control firm has been around since 1961 so we know a little bit (okay, a lot) about termites, carpenter ants and how to treat them.