Spring is finally here! Temperatures are finally above freezing. Birds are chirping. Flowers are poking up their first shoot from the soil. And all the ants and termites are waking up after winter, ready to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting homeowner.

Known in the pest control industry as “Swarm Season,” this is the time of year when insects start to become extremely active—mating, laying eggs, and potentially laying waste to your yard and home. If left unchecked, thousands and thousands of destructive insects can infest your property, your house, and generally give you a headache to deal with.

But here’s the good news: you can prevent these swarms from taking up residence in your home. Here’s what you need to know and do to avoid damage caused by this annual phenomenon.

Inspect Your Home

As we’ve suggested before, do a thorough inspection of your home, both inside and out. Try to find the hard-to-get-to areas in your home—the basement corners, the rafters in the eaves or attic of your house, crawlspaces, etc. Those are areas that tend to attract insects, especially if you don’t clean them regularly, or if they’re moist. These bugs love moisture.

If you see signs of an infestation, you’ll need to treat the area immediately to prevent it from spreading.

What To Look For

Aside from seeing the insects themselves, the most obvious sign is wood damage. Termites and carpenter ants both like to bore into wood (termites use it for food, while carpenter ants use it to build their nests). Termites also build mud tubes, which act almost like a subway system that they use to move around between their nests and food sources. The presence of any of these is a sure sign that you have an infestation on your hands.

Short-Term Prevention Tactics

Even if you don’t find signs of a current infestation, you should still take precautions to ensure you don’t develop one in the future. Oftentimes, these insects are attracted to moisture, so when you’re inspecting your home, be sure to look for signs of leaky roofs, leaky water tanks, or ground water entering your home. You can treat these areas by first drying them, replacing any wood that’s rotting, find the source of the moisture and remove it or prevent it from entering your home to begin with. That means fixing any leaks, sealing up cracks with caulk, and laying down moisture barriers.

Long-Term Prevention Strategies

Lastly, it’s a good idea to invest in long-term prevention programs to ensure that pests don’t return. That’s often where professionals like us come in. We can do a full assessment and provide you with an annual home shield plan that protects your home from a variety of intruders. We have been using the scientifically proven Sentricon® system in Howard County since 1996, which is an environmentally responsible method for eliminating termites.

If you’d like more information or need help with an infestation, give us a call. We’re happy to help make sure your home doesn’t get any unwanted guests!