Does seeing termites during swarms mean I have them?

I live in southern Louisiana. Every year in late spring/early summer the termites swarm and we see them all over the house. Apparently the termites are subterranean and fly around the neighborhood (before losing their wings?) and find their way into the house, that's what I've been told. They are seen everywhere, then after a few days they just disappear. They swarm during dusk and early night normally. This house is at least 15 years old, it may be even around 20, maybe even a bit older than that. We have never seemed to have major termite issues (aka no signs of an infection). There are also no signs of any structural issues either. The termites have been doing this every year for as long as I can remember.


I am not seeing mud mounds or whatever, I am seeing TERMITES. They are seen crawling mainly in the hallway and the laundry room. Also, we don't have a basement.

Update 2:

Also, the climate around this area is very humid and hot.

Update 3:

I went to use the restroom, and ....and......


at least 40, in a spider web.

I had to use the other restroom.

4 Answers

  • Bill
    Lv 5
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hard to say if your house is infested if no damage has yet to be seen. Best way to find that out is to shine a bright light at a sharp angle across the walls, ceiling and wood trim. The buggers will eat the drywall paper and wood behing the texture and paint which will create shallow depressions or ripples in those surfaces. If you see any, rub those with a finger to see if the paint crumbles away. If it does then you'll see crud like sand on the chips and gypsum. That's termite poo and they're going to town devouring your house.

    I've found winged termites in my homes before because they were actively eating away at the framing and even the paper in the sheet vinyl floor covering under the refrigerator. Looked like it had varicose veins. The stinkers came up thru the holes in the slab where the water supply pipes ran up. I did the repairs myself since that's my trade and treated beneath the slab myself using an airless to pump some of that good chloradane I bought at a garage sale some years earlier. Yours might of just flown inside if you see no evidence of activity. I don't know if closing up the house for awhile after setting off several bug bombs will help eliminate any lurking around but would be worth the effort IMHO.

  • 8 years ago

    In a high risk area you should get a competent inspector to check the place over every so often (intervals based on the balance of the cost of looking for them versus not finding them soon enough). Early stage termite damage is often very hard to find and an inspector may use specialist tools like a moisture meter, thermal camera , Termatrac radar or even a sniffer dog. The probability that your house is infested rises with age, particularly if you are doing renovations or garden works, so be careful before deciding to do nothing . . .

    Source(s): Basic help/advice about pest termites (no sell)
  • 8 years ago

    Except for swarming, termites live in the ground, so they are never seen. What you may see are their mud tubes, small "sandy" looking tubes. They may appear at cracks in the concrete basement(?) floor, and at corners where wood members meet, maybe for the floor structure. Also, look closely around the foundation on the outside. If they appear every spring it's a very good bet that you have a good sized colony under your home. My recommendation is to call a small local "bug guy", don't get sucked into a multi-year contract, with "bait stations". If you have termites, have the ground treated, and it should be good for several years.

    Source(s): Used to be a home inspector/bug guy.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Get him a free estimate and have the professional explain to him what damage the termites will do. Eventually they will eat the entire structure he will pay for it one way or another. If he ever sells the building they will require a termite inspection.

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