Termites are one of the most dreaded pests that can infest your home. They eat through the wood around your home or building and can do so undetected for long periods.
The worst part is that certain factors make termites infestations more likely, one of them being inclement weather! So, now that we’re entering that time of the year, it’s important to know what happens to termites during the rainy season. Keeping this information in mind might just help you spot an infestation sooner rather than later.
During the rainy weather, swarms of winged termites emerge. While commonly mistaken for flying ants, these termites are called alates. They start gathering in large numbers. At times, their swarms may even look like a large brown-gray cloud — hence why they are called “swarms.”
This phenomenon may be confusing for those who have never seen it. You might be thinking, “Aren’t all termites wingless?”. But termites, much like ants, can grow wings for certain purposes. For termites, this is to rise above the ground and search for a mate.
Alates can be both male and female flying termites that emerge from their existing colonies to begin their reproduction cycle. This happens during the rainy season because the humidity, moist soil, and relatively cooler temperatures are ideal for alates to emerge from their underground lairs.
Not all flying termites you see will be able to successfully mate. Some easily die above ground due to predators, the weather, and other factors. But those that do will move onto the next stage of their reproduction cycle. They’ll go back underground, shed their wings, and burrow deep to start their own colonies.
And, because the ground is fairly soft and damp from the frequent rains, these termites can burrow deep. Think as deep as your home’s foundation! These new colonies can cause serious damage where they take up residence.
We mentioned that termites need humidity, damp soil, and cool temperatures to begin their reproduction cycle. The same is true for their other functions — namely, for when they build their habitats.
Termites love moisture. They need it to improve their habitat. Their subterranean homes benefit immensely from the added soil moisture, as it keeps them cool and provides them with easy sources of food and water.
These pests live in environments with moisture and shelter, so it’s no surprise that they begin to rapidly spread during and after rainfall.
Not only do termites love moisture and tend to create their homes in areas with high moisture levels, but they also enjoy what it does to their primary food source: wood.
Moisture and humidity seep into the wood, making it decay much quicker. Thus, it’s easier for termites to eat away at wood and get the nutrients and material they need to thrive.
Damp soil, standing water, and consistent rain can attract many termites to homes. This is because these conditions are perfect for creating moist or decaying wood. Termites are drawn to these pieces of wood, especially after heavy rains.
This is also why a termite problem is such a big deal for your home or building. Because water damage can exist deep into any structure, these possible infestation points are not always visible or noticeable to you. This means that a termite problem can often go undetected for a while, causing more damage to your property.
So, after a few days of rain (or after a particularly heavy storm), it might be best for you to take a walk around your property to look for signs of water damage.
Check areas where water is likely to pool around your home, and consider using a bucket or hose to drain these areas. Also, check places where you’ve had experience with water damage before. These might be places like your exterior walls, near your gutters, old leaks on your roof, around your garden and porch, or under your crawl spaces.
If you’ve dealt with a termite problem in the past, your property likely has some kind of pest removal process done to it. If these were termiticides and chemical products, then unfortunately they’ll be less effective during the rainy season.
Any liquid treatment that has been placed on your property, such as a liquid soil treatment, can become diluted by heavy rainfall — and even washed away if flooding happens. This can hinder your pest removal measures to the point of being ineffective.
If you’re worried about this happening to you, it’s a good time to call a pest specialist, like Topbest! We know the best times, locations, and techniques to apply any anti-termite measures and treatments your property needs to do away with your pest problem. And, we make sure that these solutions can handle your termite infestation — regardless of the weather!
Knowing what happens to termites during the rainy season will give you a better idea of how these pests will act whenever there’s rain. With that in mind, you have a better chance of catching a termite problem before it becomes a serious infestation!
If you think you have a termite problem, message Topbest today. We are the Philippines’ trusted pest exterminator, ready to help with termite control — rain or shine!