Termites are irritating pests, but knowing when you can expect them to swarm can help you reduce the annoyance they cause.
February through May is typically considered termite season. However, when termite swarms occur and when they are at their worst depends on where you live because different species swarm at different times. Overall, you can see termite swarms throughout the year, except for the winter months.
What Is Termite Season?
Let’s begin by discussing what exactly termite season is because there is quite a lot of confusion about this term’s definition.
Termite season does not refer to the time period when termites are active.
Termites are active all year long and at all hours of the day and night because the colony must work all the time to find enough food to sustain itself.
“Termite season” specifically refers to when the termite swarmers emerge.
You see, there are several different types of termites in a colony, and each has its own job.
For example, soldier termites defend the colony from predators with their large pinchers.
Swarmer termites, meanwhile, are the ones who go out and start new colonies.
These termites have wings and fly out of the nest a few times a year to mate.
Once they mate, they start colonies of their own.
People typically want to know when termite swarmer season is because swarmers are the only termite you are likely to encounter.
And they can be quite annoying since they regularly buzz around people’s outdoor lamps, meaning they can easily ruin a quiet night outside.
When Is Termite Season?
Termite season can differ depending on where you live and the weather.
Yet, overall, what people typically call termite season normally begins in late winter, around February, and ends in late spring, near May.
However, termites swarm at different times, and some species let out swarmers in the summer and fall.
When termites swarm also depends on the weather, since they particularly like warm and wet days, usually coming out after a rain shower.
When Do Drywood Termites Swarm?
Drywood termites swarm in late summer and early fall between August and November.
When Do Dampwood Termites Swarm?
Dampwood termites can send out their swarmers during just about any time of the year, although it is rare to see dampwood swarmers in December.
Overall, you are most likely to see these swarmers between August and November.
Additionally, dampwood termites typically only swarm on humid days since they require rather high amounts of moisture to stay alive.
Also, these termites usually swarm in the early evening, just before the sun sets.
When Do Subterranean Termites Swarm?
Subterranean termites usually swarm in the spring between late February and May.
They prefer to come out in the morning after a rainshower and when the temperature is above 70°F (21°C).
Where Do Drywood Termites Live in the US?
Drywood termites do not have a very broad range.
In the US, you generally only see them in small pockets in:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- Southern California
Where Do Dampwood Termites Live in the US?
Dampwood termites also do not have a very large distribution.
You can primarily find them in:
- Southern Utah
- New Mexico
- Western Texas
- Southern Florida
Where Do Subterranean Termites Live in the US?
Subterranean termites have by far the most extensive distribution, as you can find them in every state except for Alaska.
You are most likely to find these termites in warm southern states.
Which US Cities Are Most Likely to Have Termite Swarms?
Below are the US cities with the highest number of termites, meaning they are the most likely to suffer from termite swarms.
US cities with the highest number of termites:
- Los Angeles, California
- Miami, Florida
- Washington DC
- Tampa, Florida
- Chicago, Illinois
- Atlanta, Georgia
- New York, New York
- Raleigh, North Carolina
- Dallas, Texas
- Orlando, Florida
- San Diego, California
- Norfolk, Virginia
- Houston, Texas
- Richmond, Virginia
- San Francisco, California
How Can I Stop Swarmers From Bothering Me During Termite Season?
Unfortunately, you can never completely get away from swarmer termites if you live in an area where they are common.
However, there are a few measures you can take to prevent them from ruining your time outside.
1. Get Rid of Termite Infestations
If you have a termite infestation in your home or on your property, the best way to keep swarmers away is to eliminate the colony.
Because if you don’t have termites near your house, there is less of a chance that the swarmers will show up on your property.
2. Turn Off Your Lights or Get Yellow Bulbs
Swarmer termites, like moths, are attracted to light.
So, one way to keep swarmer termites away is simply to turn off the lights.
Yet, of course, turning off the lights at night isn’t always an option.
In these cases, you can switch to a yellow-tinted lightbulb because yellow light is hard for insects to detect.
3. Burn Candles
Now, not all candles will deter swarmer termites because it isn’t candles in general that they don’t like.
Rather, you have to use candles that contain scents termites hate, such as cedarwood, mint, or orange.
4. Hang a Bird House
If you want a very environment-friendly way of getting rid of swarmer termites, you can install a bird house.
Most bird species eat termites, so you will be giving the local birds a snack while getting rid of irritating swarmers.
5. Screen Your Porch
Spending the money to screen your porch isn’t worth it just to stop swarmer termites.
But, if bugs constantly bother you outside, a screened porch can make a huge difference.
6. Put in a Porch Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans not only help keep swarmer termites away, but many other flying insects won’t want to get near them either.
7. Buy a Bug Zapper
Bug zappers emit a light that draws in flying bugs who die as soon as they touch it.
Thus, putting up one of these can significantly reduce the number of insects, including swarmers, around you when you relax outside.
Can Swarmer Termites Hurt Me?
No, swarmer termites can not hurt you.
These insects have no mouths, so they can’t bite.
They also don’t have stingers and don’t spread disease.
Will Swarmer Termites Destroy My House?
No, swarmer termites will not destroy your house.
Swarmer termites do not have mouths, meaning they can not eat wood.
However, swarmers do set up new colonies, which you don’t want to develop near your home because it can lead to an infestation later.
Also, having swarmer termites on your property may mean there is a nearby termite nest.
And if a nest is near your home, you could be at a higher risk of getting a termite infestation.
So, if you see a lot of termite swarmers, you should consider getting a termite inspection to ensure there are no termites near your home.
When termite season occurs depends on where you live.
Yet, for most people in the United States, it lasts from February to May.
But, if you live in an area where there are drywood or dampwood termites, you may see swarms in the summer and fall as well.
Table of Contents
- What Is Termite Season?
- When Is Termite Season?
- Where Do Drywood Termites Live in the US?
- Where Do Dampwood Termites Live in the US?
- Where Do Subterranean Termites Live in the US?
- Which US Cities Are Most Likely to Have Termite Swarms?
- How Can I Stop Swarmers From Bothering Me During Termite Season?
- Can Swarmer Termites Hurt Me?
- Will Swarmer Termites Destroy My House?