The month of May means a lot to people in the south; the weather will be relatively cool for one more month, our gardens go into full bloom and we get the chance to make all of our mothers feel special on Mother’s Day.  What many don’t know, unfortunately, is that each year in the south, nature gives each of our mothers its own present, in the form of swarming Formosan termites.

The Formosan termite generally begins swarming in the south around the Mother’s Day holiday, and while it may not be the present she asked for, its something everyone should be aware of.

What is a Termite Swarm?

Formosan Termites swarm each year during early may and will begin popping up in swarms around street lights and front porches in search of the perfect mate and to create new colonies.  The termites emerge from their colonies in the ground and begin to swarm, which can put a hindrance on any outdoor festivities planned for Mother’s Day.

During the month of may, and peaking around Mother’s Day, termites develop their wings, create massive swarms looking for mates and potential places for colonies, and begin settling and developing these new colonies as we move closer to June.

Why Should We be Concerned About Termite Swarms?

While many of us may have had the chance to see a termite swarm, not all of us have had the pleasure of one of these swarms occurring near our home.  For most people, these swarms are a nuisance and can shut down an evening BBQ very quickly, but for the homeowner, these swarms can be a sign of impending problems.

When a termite swarm is spotted near a home or structure, it is a sign that they will be taking up residence nearby and that your home could be at risk of becoming a termite colony.  According to the LSU AgCenter, Formosan termites cause more than $1 billion in damage in Louisiana every year as they swarm and create new colonies, damaging homes and businesses in the process.

What Can We Do About Termites Swarms?

The most important thing any southern homeowner or business can do during termite swarming seasons is to have the home professionally inspected to identify the presence of termites.  This need increases 100 fold should you observe swarming termites or other signs of termite infestation near your home or business.  Early detection of a termite colony can mean the difference between a few dollars and several thousand in damages.