Georgia is home to several termite pest species including the highly destructive Formosan subterranean termite. Luckily, the invasive Formosan subterranean termite species is not nearly as abundant within Georgia as it is within nearby Gulf Coast states, particularly within Louisiana and Florida; instead, it is the native eastern subterranean termite that causes the greatest amount of infestations within the state. In fact, since Georgia is located within a high termite activity region of the United States, it is estimated that one in five homes within the state have been, or will be attacked by this native termite species. However, Formosan and eastern subterranean termites are not the only subterranean termite species that exist within Georgia, as the state is also home to the dark southeastern subterranean termite and the light southeastern subterranean termite.
Subterranean termites exist in all US states except for Alaska, and the annual cost of infestations of subterranean termites amounts to two billion dollars, 200 to 300 million dollars of which is spent on infestations solely within Georgia. This figure is much higher when factoring in the cost of repairing termite damage. In addition to the four subterranean termite species in Georgia, there are also at least two drywood termite species in the state. These two species are the west Indian drywood termite and the western drywood termite.
Now is the time of year when Georgia residents spot termite swarms. The locations where these swarms occur can indicate to homeowners in the state where termite colonies are located, and this is especially important to keep in mind when it comes to subterranean termites, as not only are these termites the most destructive termite species in all states, but their cryptic habitat below the soil’s surface does not allow professionals to locate their colonies in any other way.
Subterranean termites take the rising spring temperatures in Georgia as a cue to begin swarming. Although most residents may not witness a swarm as one occurs, winged termite swarmers (alates) shed their wings quickly after taking flight. If a homeowner should find discarded termite wings in or around his/her home, then there is a good chance that a termite colony exists nearby on a residential property, or even within a home. Discarded alate wings are often found littering window sills. Notifying a pest control professional upon finding alate wings on your property can prevent termites from inflicting massive damage to your home’s structural wood.
Have you ever found termite alate wings in or near your home?