Chances are you have been seeing termite swarms in the evenings here in the Pelican State. LSU AgCenter urban entomologist Dr. Karen Sun said they are Formosan termites, and while you might not have an infestation in your home if you are seeing them nearby, they are taking up residence in your neighborhood.
“But it is important to know that there are termite infestations in your area, and you need to do something to protect your house,” said Sun.
Sun said termites usually nest underground, and tunnel through the soil, searching to feed off of cellulose-containing materials like wood and cardboard. If you are bothered by the evening swarms, she advises to turn off outdoor lights and dim indoor lights.
“And some other things you want to do is, check around the house, you want to remove any cellulose-containing materials such as wood, mulch, cardboard. Just to keep them away from the foundation of the house,” said Sun.
She said you want to keep mulch at least twelve inches away from your foundation.
In the wild, Sun said termites prefer to consume decayed wood, but in more urban areas, they aren’t as finicky.
“They’re not picky they would be happy to consume the structural wood inside the house. But they are really cryptic, it’s hard to find them because they are very good at hiding themselves,” said Sun.
This time of year, Sun said the swarming fully winged termites are out looking for mates and nest sites.
Sun said if you are concerned about an infestation, call a pest control professional to inspect your home.