When Do Termites Swarm?

October 14, 2021by

When should you worry about the termite swarming season in Southern California? Different termite species swarm at different times of the year, but no matter when they swarm, they’re signaling homeowners that it’s time for a termite inspection. Swarming termites in California are as predictable as the weather. There are certain times when you can count on termites to swarm, but it’s not an exact science.

Regardless of when termite swarming season is in Southern California, it’s best to be prepared. Keep reading to find out what kind of termites you’ll likely encounter and what to do when you see them take flight. So when do termites swarm?

Western Drywood termites can swarm from September to October, while the Southeastern Drywood termites swarm from late May to the middle of June. Like predicting the Southern California weather, getting an exact idea of when termites will swarm can be difficult. So let’s take a look at the swarming habits of the most common species in California to get a better handle on what we’re dealing with here.

In Southern California, the western drywood termite swarms during the day, any time between September and November. They may swarm earlier in the northern parts of the state, but the swarming almost always occurs as temperatures begin to cool. Here are some other common termite species and their swarming habits:

  • The Western Subterranean Termite – During the day in autumn, winter or early spring.
  • The Arid-land Subterranean Termite – In the daylight in spring and fall.
  • The Desert Subterranean Termite – At night from July to September.
  • In San Diego County, the Formosan Termite – At night, peaking in June and July. Swarms may take place for several more months.
  • The Desert Drywood Termite – At night from June to September.
  • The Pacific Dampwood Termite – From August to October, at dusk.
  • The Nevada Dampwood Termite – In spring at higher elevations and in summer and early fall in coastal areas.

Now that we know the what and when regarding termite swarming season in Southern California, let’s look at some other interesting termite swarming facts.

How Long Do Termites Swarm

A termite swarm can seem to come out of nowhere, and the flurry of activity usually lasts about 30 to 40 minutes. The termites lucky enough to mate and make it into the new colony will head underground, but most will die from dehydration. During the swarming process, the termites will shed their wings, and you will typically see the remnants around window frames, porches, and in your yard.

So when are you most likely to spot the elusive termite swarming phenomenon? Remember, subterranean termites swarm during the day in spring, usually after a rainfall. The best solution to your subterranean termite problem, so you’re termite-free all-year round, is to contact a professional for subterranean termite control. Formosan termites swarm at night in the late spring and summer. Drywood termites swarm at night in the late summer and early fall.

How long termite swarming season lasts depends on the termite species and the climate in a particular geographic area. In Southern California, termite swarming season can last from late winter to early winter. If you’re doing the math, you may be asking when don’t instead of when do termites swarm in California! Regardless of the species or time of year, just know that a termite swarm means a termite colony, and the potential for damage is close.

How to Get Rid of Termite Swarmers

The aftermath of a termite swarm includes shed wings and dead termites. If a termite swarm breaks out in your home, you’ll probably be left with the cleanup because the termites can’t get outside and into the soil before they die. During the swarm, the termites will be attracted to light, and that’s why discarded wings can often be found near windows.

Swarmers can enter your home through cracks around doors or windows, cracks in a concrete foundation, or even from damaged drywall or trim work. While you can close off and repair these entry points for future peace of mind, once the swarmers invade your home, you’ll want to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

It’s important to note that termite swarmers don’t cause structural damage, but if you find swarmers inside, you can be sure the rest of the colony is doing damage to your home. Even though flying termites are harmless to wood and humans, the swarming and the cleanup after can be unsettling. While you can use commercial sprays to kill flying termites, if you can weather the half-hour or so of swarming, you’ll find cleaning up is fast and easy.

Once the termite swarm has finished, you’ll be left with discarded wings and a few dead termites. You can easily brush the swarm remnants off window sills and other surfaces with a cloth into a trashcan or onto the floor below. Then it’s only a matter of vacuuming or sweeping to get up the rest. Cleaning up after a termite swarm is the easy part. Now it’s time to stop the damage to your home from the rest of the colony with a professional termite treatment to finish the job.

How Long Do Termites Swarm After Treatment

Once your home has been treated for termites, it may take a while for the treatment to achieve complete control. For termite treatments to wood, for example, it may take several weeks for the moisture levels in the wood to decrease to the point where the termites can’t survive due to dehydration. Because termite treatments can vary in the products and application methods used, it’s not unusual to encounter termite swarming after treatment.

There is little difference in the occurrences of post-treatment swarms after traditional or eco-friendly termite treatments. That’s because termite swarmers can withstand conditions that workers and other members of the termite colony can’t. While seeing a termite swarm after your home has been treated can be unsettling, understand that their appearance is unrelated to how well the termite treatment is working.

During termite swarming season, post-treatment termite swarms may occur up to a month after professional termite treatment. HiTech Termite Control uses the safest yet highly effective termite treatment methods that often work in stages to eradicate the entire colony. Because the alates, the termites that end up swarming, are more resilient to treatment, they can often be the last to die.

Hi-Tech Termite Inspector filling out inspection form

Now that you know termite swarming season in Southern California can last a good part of a year keep an eye out and keep our number handy. If you see swarming or other signs of a termite infestation, call us. We are your source for everything termite-related, from free termite inspections to preventative termite control in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, and the surrounding areas.