New Orleans Termite Swarming Season Comes Early for 2018

January 22, 2018By

In most years, Louisiana residents don’t need to worry about termites swarming until the month of April or May.

However, 2018 is different – termites will be swarming early this year. Whether you’re over in Lakeview, in NOLA proper, in Mid-City or elsewhere, termites pose a very real, and very early, threat to your home. What can you do, though?

It Means There Are More Hidden Away

One of the first things to understand here is that swarming occurs due to pressure on the termite colony. The individuals in the swarm, called alates, are sent out to establish new colonies.

Early swarming does not mean that colonies are having problems, either. On the contrary, it means those colonies are doing very well indeed, and they’re dividing in order to ensure the continued health of the colony.

So, early swarming should be a sign that there are very healthy colonies nearby that are causing immense damage to wooden structures.

Although we haven’t seen swarms yet this year, we have seen signs of early termite activity in some customers’ residences. Our Sentricon bait systems still have hits on them even in this freezing weather!

Early termites appear in a local Sentricon system

Swarms Are Not Your Worry

The natural fear when seeing a termite swarm is that they’ll find your home, infest it, and devour it from the inside out.

While that can happen, it shouldn’t be your greatest fear. If you’re seeing a swarm of termites, it means that there’s an existing colony, as mentioned above. However, chances are good that colony is in the ground somewhere near your home – possibly infesting an oak tree, or even already gnawing away at your support structures, flooring, deck and other parts of the house.

Check Trees Around Your Home

In most instances, alates spawn from termite colonies in the ground. Many of these are not in homes, but are in the earth around trees.

Mud tubes on the side of trees (and on the side of your home) are signs of termite infestation – now is the time to be on the lookout for these signs of termites. By inspecting trees around your home, you can identify areas that are infested with termites and have them treated.

Treating trees will save the life of the tree in question, but will also help prevent termites from discovering and infesting your house.

More to Come

The general pattern for termite swarms in Louisiana is for the largest initial swarm to appear in early May. However, that’s not the end of them.

In fact, you’ll experience repeated swarms, once every 10 days or so, through the end of the season, which usually arrives at the end of June. Because swarms are starting early for 2018, you can expect to see more swarms, even if the season still ends in June.

No More Large-Scale Federal Effort

Program Full Stop was largely considered as a success throughout most of New Orleans and the surrounding area. However, the program was mothballed in 2011, and there is no federal program to replace it.

The city handles some termite treatment in town (NOLA), but the onus really falls on homeowners now. There is no state or federal eradication program currently in operation.

For homeowners, that means you need to be proactive.

Don’t wait for the start of the traditional termite season.

Don’t wait to see if the swarm you spotted was a fluke.

You need to take action immediately.

Routine Inspections and Treatment

Whether termite swarms come early, on time or late, it really doesn’t change what you need to do as a homeowner. You need to invest in regular inspections, and in ongoing, professional treatment.

Partner with a trusted pest control company that can provide you with scheduled services, and that can also offer advice, guidance and information to help ensure that you’re prepared for early swarms, as well as year-long termite prevention.

Filed in: Termite Control