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Do Termites Die Off During Winter in North Carolina?

termites on wood

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If you live in North Carolina, you know our state has its fair share of termite problems. In fact, there’s a moderate-to-heavy probability that the average home here will get a termite infestation at some point.

If you’re hoping winter will provide some relief from termite woes, unfortunately, you will be disappointed. These insects have survival strategies for outlasting the cold, and unlike other insects, termites don’t hibernate.

What Happens to Termites During Winter?

It’s a common belief that most insects die off during the winter. This is because many people typically see a large decrease in visible insect numbers and activity. In reality, many North Carolina insects survive the cold by going dormant and spending winter underground, under leaf litter, inside fallen logs, or inside warm, cozy human homes.

Termites, however, not only survive winter intact, but they also remain active. Each termite’s survival strategy will depend on what species it is:

  • Subterranean termite colonies typically will tunnel deeper underground to avoid extreme temperatures.
  • Dry wood and damp wood termites tend to nest inside dead trees and stumps for protection.

In some cases, termites will seek shelter inside a home, such as in the attic or crawl space or inside the walls. These insects thrive at a temperature of 75°F. If you’re keeping your home fairly warm and cozy throughout winter, you may be providing termites with an ideal cold-weather refuge.

When Are Termites Most Active In North Carolina?

Due to our climate in North Carolina, we have a long “termite season.” Termite season starts with swarmer activity. Swarmers are the reproductive members of a termite colony (as opposed to the worker termites). Swarmers fly off from their original colony to mate and start new colonies.

In North Carolina, swarming may start in late winter and continue all the way through October if the weather stays warm enough. The most swarming typically occurs on warm days right after rain. Because termites can remain active throughout the year, always keep an eye out for signs of a termite infestation, including discarded swarmer wings and mud tubes leading up to your home.

Don’t tackle termites alone! For help with a termite infestation in Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, and beyond, contact Sage Pest Control today: (704) 413-3398.

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