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Do Termites Swarm To Light?


Termites build large colonies in order to get through to wood at your property and cause mass destruction. These insects are known as the ‘silent destroyers’ as they are able to hide away for years, silently munching away at your home, and usually eating it to the ground.

But a termite infestation may not be a priority for most homeowners until the swarming termites show up uninvited on a beautiful, warm day in late spring or early summer and take up residence in your living room. Keep in mind that as soon as the winter is over and the humidity levels start to rise, there is an increased risk of a termite infestation in your Northeast Georgia home. One of the triggers of termite swarms is the combination of quickly rising temperatures and heavy rainfall that causes moist soil.

At that time, you should be on the lookout for termites that fly in large clusters, typically swarming towards a light source in your home.

If you see swarms of termites flying around your property, you should contact a professional termite inspector in Northeast Georgia immediately as this is a warning sign that you either already have an existing termite problem or your house is at risk from a potential infestation.

You might be wondering what is the reason for termites to swarm to light, so keep reading to understand why it happens...

Why Do Termites Swarm To Light?

Like most flying insects, these pests are highly attracted to all sources of light whenever they are in their swarming phase. Also known as alates, the winged termites are the reproductive members of their colony that leave the existing colony to reproduce and sustain their species.

In fact, swarmers have some means of distinguishing light from the darkness. They are drawn to the light because it helps them find their way around.

Also, bright light tends to confuse their navigational system, and these insects get confused when they see it.

They are not likely to go unnoticed as you may see termites in the thousands flying around your house. Unlike other termites in the colony, swarmers will fly towards the light. Like most nocturnal insects, termites are attracted to the nearest light source, so you may spot them swarming under street lamps or near fluorescent lights. It is common to notice swarms around porch lamps, motion lights, utility lights, or light reflected from the interior. They are particularly attracted to straight lighting and will sometimes fly down through a downlight.

The swarmers are drawn to strong white light and exterior windows. You will often spot them congregating around windows or glass doors. These insects will swarm on the inside of windows in a house that has an active infestation. They do this because they want to fly outside and be in the bright sun, not the dark inside of your house. The winged termites try to shed their wings and mate to establish their nests in some dark places, such as under slabs of wooden structures that provide cover.

Do Termites Swarm More During The Night Or Day?

The time of day termites swarm depends on their species. Some types of termites are more likely to swarm during the day, while others come out and swarm at night. In addition, certain species of termites are prone to swarming in the late afternoon and early evening.

At night, the swarmers find higher humidity levels and various sources of light that they are attracted to.

For instance, the drywood termite species swarm in daylight after rain. Many of the subterranean termites common in the United States swarm during the day. Formosan termites, on the other hand, tend to swarm at night.

Does Turning Off Lights Keep Flying Termites Away?

Swarming termites might be quite distressing for you and there’s not much you can do to stop them from flying into your home. However, there are some precautions you can take to reduce the possibility.

We recommend that after sunset, you turn off as many lights as possible, especially the outdoor lighting like porch lights. They want to flock to the outside lights at every opportunity, so to keep them from being attracted to your house remember to turn off all unnecessary lights at night.

Also, make sure the windows and doors are closed after the sun goes down to prevent the insects from flying in.

This way, the swarmers  will choose to blindly fly on through the night and bypass your home.

But if there are already any swarmers inside, open all doors and windows so they can fly out of the house as quickly as possible before they shed their wings.

However, don’t try to kill the termites in Northeast Georgia with a can of bug spray. This is pointless and you’ll be wasting your time trying to attack them. Instead, you must get rid of them from your house as quickly as they come in.

It is also important to install screens on all windows and doors, and make sure they stay free of tears and holes in the fabric.

As flying termites are not drawn to yellow, red, and purple-colored lights, it would be useful to place some of these colored lightbulbs outside your house to chase them away.

In a nutshell, the experience of termites swarming to a light source can be both negative and positive. While the fact that the light source attracts termites is a bad thing, it can alert you that there is an infestation is already underway or that termites have just started colonizing your property, and it’s time for you to call in a professional for an inspection. It’s crucial to have the proper measures in place when you spot swarmers to avoid a termite infestation.

If you suspect that you have a termite infestation or that swarmers have been spotted in your neighborhood, contact our knowledgeable team at American Pest Control in Athens, GA, for a free inspection! Our experts will inspect your property and recommend a residential termite treatment that’s customized to your home.

Our certified pest experts will work with you to find the best solution for your needs. Simply fill out this form for a free, no-obligation estimate.

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(706) 702-4532
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