With Formosan subterranean termites’ annual swarming season approaching, an LSU AgCenter entomologist is advising Louisiana homeowners to take steps to lower the risk of damage from the insects.
When the termites come out of their colonies, they search for wood and moisture to create new colonies. They swarm at dusk, often near lights.
“The peak swarming season is from May to June, with a big peak around Mother’s Day,” says entomologist Karen Sun in an AgCenter news release. “But it is not unusual to see early swarms or late swarms.”
A swarm indicates a nearby infestation of termites. Sun said people who notice swarming termites should have a pest control professional inspect their home and trees. The infestation could be on a neighbor’s property—but, she says, it’s important to be proactive.
Formosan subterranean termites are an invasive species that came to the continental United States from Asia shortly after World War II via wood on cargo ships. Louisiana was one of the first places in the U.S. where Formosan subterranean termites established colonies.
These termites are estimated to cause $1 billion in damage in the United States annually, she said. Half of that—$500 million—is in Louisiana, especially in the New Orleans area.