The up and down spring weather is a wake up call for termites.
One local entomologist said his pest control company is swamped with calls.
Now is the time when termites emerge from a long winter's nap while looking for two things: to reproduce, and for wood to eat.
This time of the year where moisture levels and temperatures of the soil comes up and this release of what we call the reproductive casts. They are the termites that have wings, they look like ants," said Bob Russell with American Pest Solutions in Springfield.
Russell told Western Mass News the winged termites, called reproductives, are harmless.
"The reproductive don't do any damage, so seeing the reproductive doesn't mean that they're eating your home. The problem is the ones that you don't see, that are side by side with those reproductives that are eating your home," Russell explained.
The kinds you don't see are called workers. They're the ones looking to feed on cellulose and moisture found in wood and can get into your home through things like cracks in your foundation.
"Within a year of two of them being there, you're going to see a swarm or you're going to see indications of them there so you can get after it and stop the damage," Russell continued.
Damage that can go into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Russell recommends to check your basement walls for what's called mud tubes built by foraging termites, and to look for damage on any wood around your house that touches the soil.
"The treatment strategy will vary based on the construction, where the termite penetration is, and the homeowner's concerns about environmentally responsible products," Russell noted.
He said there are chemical and non-chemical solutions to get rid of termites.
If you happen to get rid of termites yourself, Russell suggests they can be tough to get rid of because colonies are often hidden.
For those who take the licensed professional route, Russell said those who are trained can access that hidden damage and determine the best treatment.
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