Summary: Anyone who has been through subterranean termite swarms can tell you that it happens so fast and the number of swarming termites is so great that it is an experience you are unlikely to forget.
There are several very good products that stop termites in a hurry. The Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System is a baiting system, but it can only be installed by licensed professionals. It's clean, quick and uses no liquids that poison the soil. There is Termidor, a liquid treatment that also kills the termite colony. This product is available on this website. To understand what is involved, click on the Termidor link and read the label to determine if you are capable of performing the treatment.
It all starts on a warm, sunny morning. The previous evening there may have been a rain shower, so the ground is wet and soft. You're sitting there enjoying your morning paper and a cup of java when you first notice a small insect land on the window sill. In a few moments several more bugs alight and now they have your attention. You look around the room and suddenly realize you are not alone. The room is filling up with flying insects. In a matter of a few moments more the room has become dense with flying ant-like pests. In some cases there are so many the light from the windows becomes somewhat blocked.
This common scenario causes most people to call an exterminator in the same way you would call 911 if your kitchen was on fire. It is, without a doubt, a sobering event. So what, you ask, should you do if this occurs? First, the flying insects will do no damage to your belongings, nor can they harm you. Capture a few of the bugs in a bottle so someone can identify them. You need to know if they are, in fact, termites or flying ants.
Trying to stop the emerging insects is a challenge. These are the reproductive stage of the insect and they are bursting out of the ground programmed to find a mate, get back in the ground and create a new colony. As they emerge they are expecting to find wide open spaces only to discover they are on the wrong side of the foundation wall. That's why you see them fly towards the light of the window. They don't want to be inside your house anymore than you want them there. In a few minutes they lose their wings and, unable to get back into the ground, they die.
Many people run for the can of insecticide and start spraying the tiny hole(s) from which these insects are emerging. Actually, any household product like Windex, hairspray or air freshener will work. The foreign agent temporarily makes the insects withdraw to safety. But, the urge to escape their underground tunnels is so inherently strong they soon return.
Most swarms last less than a half hour. You may experience several swarms over a period of several days, but eventually they stop. Don't ignore it and think it is over. Termite colonies immediately begin developing a new generation of swarmers for the next season and if you don't resolve the problem you are bound to have the pleasure of this experience again next year.
Any treatment takes time and waiting only delays things. In fact, if you treat your property late in the year it is most likely you will experience another swarm the following spring. Once the termites have established underground swarm castles where these little guys reside, there is nothing that will stop them from emerging the following season.
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