Millions of termites swarm the Bay Area in search of love



Bay Area residents report swarms of termites around their properties after the first rains of the season.

A University of California entomologist explains when to worry and schedule an inspection.

Millions of termites emerge from the damp ground to form new colonies in the Bay Area.

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“Millions upon millions. Any fully grown colony can have hundreds and up to 1,000 hawkers. At the point I was in Richmond today, we probably counted 40 different colonies that came up,” said Dr. Andrew Sutherland, SF Bay Area Urban Integrated Pest Management Advisor.

Entomologist Dr. Andrew Sutherland of the University of California says the first rain of the season followed by sunny weather made this week the perfect time for termites.

Dr. Sutherland says the termites flying around your house are looking for a mate.

“What they do is look for love. This is their chance to leave their colony as virgin queens and kings to find love after landing on the wing or on the ground and start their own colony,” said Dr . Sutherland.

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Steve Nicholes, a Novato resident, woke up with termites in his yard.

“I thought they were flying ants, but it turned out to be a flying termite that had just hatched,” said Nicholes.

One of his neighbors, Al Powell, shot a video showing hundreds of termites. Al found seven clusters in his garden. Steve found three clusters.

“My first instinct was right next to the foundation of my house, which they can invade and wreak havoc. As I walked through the back yard, I saw them in flight and in the side yard, so I started looking around again and found more,” said Nicholes.

Luz Pena: “When should homeowners be concerned?”

Dr. Sutherland: “When you see a swarm out of the ground or a piece of wood very close to your house or other wooden structure. Attack your home within a meter or two of your home. “

Then Dr. Sutherland that you should schedule an inspection. Otherwise wait: “Most of them die. Most of them are eaten by predators or they cannot find a partner,” said Sutherland.

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