LOUISIANA (WNTZ) – As weather turns warmer throughout Louisiana and East Texas, most insects are emerging from their winter harborage to complete their life cycle. One of the insects that homeowners should be on the lookout for are termites!

According to J&J Exterminating, each year during the spring and early summer months, both Eastern subterranean termites and Formosan subterranean termites send out winged reproductive members of their colonies, referred to as “swarmers”, to begin new termite colonies of their very own. Once the swarmers emerge from their respective colony and land on a surface, they shed their wings and begin to look for a compatible mate. Once a male and female termite pair up, they seek shelter in the ground to begin a new colony. After the new termite colony becomes established, the workers begin foraging for food sources to support the growth of the colony.

Eastern subterranean termites are black in color and swarm on warm sunny afternoons. They are slow fliers and move in large numbers with the wind. Formosan termites are reddish brown in color and swarm at dusk in extremely large numbers. Formosan termites can often be seen swarming around street lights, security lights, and lights at recreational facilities. Formosan termite swarms are so large they can cause outdoor sporting, recreational, and entertainment events to be delayed until the swarm subsides.

Termites feed on wood and unfortunately cannot distinguish between the wooden structure of a home and a piece of stray lumber in the yard. “So far, from our observations, the 2023 Formosan termite swarm seems to be much more pervasive than in previous years. Formosan termite colonies are much larger than Eastern subterranean termite colonies. Unfortunately, for our entire service area, this means Formosan termites have the ability to cause much more damage at a faster rate”, said J&J Exterminating A.C.E. Technical Director/Trainer, Adam Woodard.

In the United States, termites cause billions of dollars of damage to properties each year. The investment to protect your most valued asset by treating for termites is the same whether you have an active infestation or not. Bear in mind that once termites are established, damage begins immediately. If a homeowner suspects a termite infestation and their residence has not been recently treated, they should contact a reputable pest control company and have a complete, complementary inspection performed as soon as possible.