How to Keep Swarming Termites Away
Termites in Hawaii can swarm during any of the warm months, but April really marks the beginning of the annual termite-swarming season. Clouds of swarming winged reproductives are attracted to lights on warm, humid and still evenings. These swarm-ers are often confused with winged ants and don’t reveal their true identity until damage caused by their infestation is discovered.
All termite swarmers are attracted by light around buildings; once they land, they break off their wings, find a partner and suitable site and begin a new colony. Frequently, drywood termites are brought into a building by introducing an infested piece of furniture. Ground termites typically build their nests in the ground, while foragers make underground tunnels or above-ground shelter tubes to seek out new food sources and connect to the food. Although they have large swarms, they often enter buildings through cracks as small as 1/32-inch. They frequently enter through cracks and expansion joints in slabs, foam insulation, hollow block walls and spaces around plumbing pipes.
Termites feed on cellulose, a complex chemical in plant cell walls, and they are very important in the natural decomposition of fallen trees, leaves and other plant life in nature. Left unchecked, however, an infested structure may have multiple colonies of termites infesting it and consuming wood at an alarming rate.
How can you tell if you have a termite infestation?
The most common sign is finding piles of wood pellets that are kicked out of infested wood.
Also, look for pencil-sized mud tubes running across concrete between the soil and any wooden part of your building.
Thin, small, papery wings about 1/2-inch long on your windowsills or floors may be visible as well. Look for thin, “bubbled” or distorted areas of paint on wooden surfaces, especially if they have a damp, musty odor. Sandwich Isle recommends that every house be inspected by a professional inspector at least annually.
Choosing the correct option
Options include ground treatment or baiting, tent fumigation, Enviro-PureHeat, HomeGuard Borate and spot treatments. With so many different termite control methods available, it is best to consult with an expert before making a decision.
Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions provides free estimates and is recognized as the expert in termite and pest management in Hawaii. Starting as a oneman operation in 1997, Sandwich Isle has grown to become the largest privately owned pest management company in Hawaii, with 81 employees servicing more than 30,000 customers on Oahu.