Horticulture hotline: termite swarmers are annoying, but do not eat wood | Community news

All of a sudden, usually after a spring rain, termites fly by the thousands from an old stump, pile of firewood, or other dead wood.

We had a very dry spring, so the termite swarming season came later than usual. Termite swarms are a crazy natural phenomenon.

Suddenly, termites fly in their thousands from an old stump, pile of firewood, or some other area of ​​dead wood. Which in itself is not a problem; However, swarmers (winged adult termites trying to start a new colony) could indicate a problem.

In New Orleans, the termite swarmers are sometimes so fat that nightly baseball games are suspended or canceled because the swarmers block the lights. The streets also turn black when the termites congregate around the street lamps.

These termites won’t eat wood, but they are a good indicator that there is an active colony nearby. You can usually see them swarming near an old tree stump or pile of wood. Termites are Mother Nature’s decomposers.

If you see them in your house or building, there may be a colony under your building. First, identify the nuisance to make sure it isn’t flying ants (see pictures online, take them to your local Possum or Clemson sales office). Ants have a narrowed belly (like a bodybuilder’s waist) and a termite’s body tapers straight down (more like a middle-aged person). Termite swarms and their wings are usually found on window sills because they fly towards the light.

If you discover you have termite swarms and your home or building is under contract with a pest controller, contact them right away. If your house is not under contract, call three companies and get estimates.

Don’t necessarily go with the lowest bid, this is your house we are talking about. See what their guarantees are, how long they’ve been in business and if they have any recommendations to turn to, how often they suggest follow-up treatment, whether they cover formosan termites, who pays for damage, who for Post-treatments paid? , and how much does the annual inspection cost.

Remember, the hawkers are a nuisance. They don’t eat wood. Kill them just to clean up the mess; However, soil treatment or a bait system by a professional will be your long-term solution.

It’s also a great time to apply Back to Nature’s SeaHume and Cotton Burr Compost to your lawns and beds. It has been a few months since some of you fertilized your lawn and shrubs. We have had some very heavy rains lately. Unless you’re on a program based on a soil test, 17-00-09, which is 100% slow release, will keep your lawn, trees, and shrubs healthy.

Have you pruned your azaleas and camellias for the next year? You want to complete this cut by July 4th. Have you used your pre-emergence on late germinating weeds? Mosquitoes, flies, wasps and especially fire ants are a stinging topic at Possum.

Always read, understand, and obey the product label.

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