Decrease in Termite Swarms Has Homeowners Mistakenly Dropping Their Guard
ATLANTA, April 11, 2008 – The arrival of warmer spring weather typically announces the return of swarming termites in and around homes in the United States. However, according to termite experts from pest control leader Orkin, Inc. and the Consumer Education Council on Termites, recent dry weather patterns have led to a decline in the number of termite swarms. Unfortunately for homeowners, a decrease in swarms does not imply that termites are less active – it simply means their infestations are less visible.
“Over the past few years, researchers have discovered a correlation between termite activity in the upper layers of soil and rainfall,” said Brian T. Forschler, Ph.D., University of Georgia, and member of the Consumer Education Council on Termites, a group comprised of several of the top termite experts in the U.S. “Particularly after a drought, such as the one we experienced last year in the Southeast, termites begin to search deeper in the water table for moisture, which means they might not be seen as frequently aboveground.”
The movement of termite colonies further underground could create problems for unsuspecting homeowners, who may not be able to detect an infestation without seeing a swarm.
“Swarms have typically been one of the most visible signs of termite activity in and around the home,” said Ron Harrison, Ph.D., director of training and Orkin’s Training Center in Atlanta. “With drier conditions, this warning sign has become less common, making the precautions homeowners take to prevent and control termites even more important.”
Harrison recommends homeowners partner with their termite specialist to complete regular, thorough inspections of the home to determine if termites are active, monitor for warning signs of an infestation and identify conditions conducive to termite activity. Well-trained termite specialists can detect hidden colonies and less visible warning signs, including termite mud tubes and termite-damaged wood, as well as determine a termite colony’s approximate size and location.
Homeowners can also visit www.Termites101.org for more information on how to partner with their termite specialist to identify, treat, control and prevent termites. This educational, interactive Web site — created through a partnership between Orkin and the Consumer Education Council on Termites — offers images, videos and unique expert articles designed to explain termite warning signs, hot spots, prevention and treatment. Homeowners with questions can email an expert or submit comments to the site’s TermiteTalk(tm) blog.
About Orkin, Inc.
Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin, Inc. is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Asia. With more than 400 locations, Orkin’s almost 8,000 employees serve approximately 1.7 million customers. The company serves homeowners and numerous industries including food and beverage processing, foodservice, hospitality, healthcare, retail, warehousing, property/facilities management, schools and institutions. Learn more about Orkin on our website at www.orkin.com. Orkin is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rollins, Inc. (NYSE: ROL).