Can Rain Stimulate Termite Activity in the House?

Although they may seem indestructible when infesting homes, termites are actually fragile creatures that need specific amounts of moisture, protection, and heat to survive. Since rainfall is one of the major regulators of soil moisture and temperature in nature, it’s not surprising that rain also affects termite activity.

Not only do rainstorms drive flying termites to mate during warm weather, moisture from rain also contributes to water damage in homes, thus attracting termites and other pests. In addition, rain can make getting rid of stubborn termite infestations even more difficult.

Rainfall Prompts Swarms of Flying Termites

After rainstorms and showers, homeowners may see swarms of winged termites, called alates. Since termites need moist soil to thrive, newly dampened ground is an environmental cue for alates to begin their mating process. Once the male and female alates pair off, they shed their wings and burrow underground to begin their own nests. Swarming seasons vary based on region, though flying termites typically begin to appear in early spring.

Rain Leads to Damp Wood in Homes

Damp soil and standing water in yards after rain can attract many termites to homes. Two of the most common species of termites in the United States, dampwood and subterranean termites, prefer to infest moist or decaying timber. They are most often found in wood that stays damp through contact with the soil or as a result of flooding or leaking pipes.

To look for termites, check areas around the home where water damage is common, such as crawl spaces, sill plates, subfloors, exterior walls, soffits and fascia behind leaking gutters, leaks in the roof, and porches.

Rainstorms Affect Pest Removal

Some termiticides and chemical products can be less effective after heavy rains. For example, liquid soil treatments for subterranean termites can be diluted by heavy rainfall and flooding, to the point of being ineffective. Pest specialists know the best times and locations to apply treatments. Therefore, for the best results, call Orkin to handle termite problems in any weather.