Not all termite colonies remain active throughout the year though. Many species spend most of their lives underground in tunnels or nests. These can reach several feet down into the ground. Species that live in cold climates often travel deep enough into the earth. They can survive winter’s cold temperatures.
Do Termites Go Away in Winter?
When it comes to places like Antarctica, where the temperature is always cold and the winter season never ends, termites remain active throughout! The Queen and other members of the colony also lay eggs all year round. This is despite food scarcity for many months.
People who live in places with regular seasons will see different activities from their local colonies. They need to keep an eye out for these signs:
- Swarmers are winged male and female termites that travel to new places
- Flying termites swarm around lights inside homes
- Mud tubes that thaw ground exposes
You should see less activity as the insects return underground to their nests once it warms up outside.
Do Termites Die in Winter?
You may wonder about the survival of termites when it gets too cold! These insects can manage low temperatures and go dormant for a while to avoid severe winter conditions. This makes them different from other places where bugs like to spend the winter like hibernating bats or staying inside your home.
But while many species of termite live in the cold, they do face this risk: Dealing with freezing weather such as -20°C and lower makes it possible for ice and snow to cover these areas. This can destroy their nests and could wipe out entire colonies! Living in places that experience this during winter means keeping an eye on your property.
What Happens to Termites during Winter?
Satisfy your curiosity in knowing the experiences of termites when they are in chilly surroundings. Below are different types:
For Subterranean and Formosan Termites
These types of termites live inside the wood. They simply stay in place and wait for the cold to pass when wintertime arrives. Leaving a trace behind in places like mud tubes or trails that form when they travel is a scenario. You may notice this activity slows down a lot. But it does not completely stop because these places can still survive beneath snow and ice.
Termites can cause a rather large infestation in the winter or any other time of year! The Formosan termite colony thrives on moisture just like their counterparts from Asia. You can see brown lines as exit areas for swarmer launching.
This is when these creepy termites leave your home. They seek new territory where there is more food available. Luckily though with proper barrier treatment like Sentricon AG, you can repair most of the damage without having great difficulty at all!
Drywood and Dampwood Termite
Drywood termites like your home, which is made up of dry wood and other cellulose material. They sleep throughout the winter and remain calm as long as temperatures do not drop below -1°C. This means that they manage to survive for a while even when it snows or there are harsh freezes. You can see their living places with exposure from beneath the snow. Extreme weather conditions affected them.
These termite workers seal off their nests in places like garages or attics where it is warmer indoors. This is part of their survival strategy during inclement conditions when it becomes too difficult to find food outside. No activities until springtime come again. The reproductive members remain active!
Dampwood termites usually hibernate during wintertime and stay active. Temperatures are at least 15 °C above zero for them to leave nests. This gives the places where they live a warm feeling. These termites dislike warm walls or basements even though it snows outside.
Does Cold Air Kill Termites?
Snow is not an issue for places where they live. Termite body temperatures are at least 10 °C higher than the air temperature! Their colonies living inside trees or in places with frozen wintry conditions have infested places nearby. You can also see them moving around these places over the wintertime.
For Subterranean Termites
Extreme cold may kill subterranean termites, depending on how long it lasts. This happens when the temperature is -20°C or lower for more than two days. Most nests freeze solid including the ones that have been abandoned long ago by this species of bug when it gets below -20°C.
What Termites Do Indoors During Winter
The places where they live are woodpiles, firewood stacks, or around homes near the foundation that stay at least 10°C. They do not completely freeze when you have places near heating ducts. These termites can become active once springtime arrives when temperatures go up to 12°C!
For Dampwood and Drywood Types of Termite
All their colonies will die during winter because it is under 16°C outside! The cold can snap places by keeping them below the freezing point for days. They move to hidden regions inside your home which keep them alive until spring comes again. You can see swarmer launching in summer because this means there are no longer cool places indoors to hide in.
Warm Areas Inside The Property are at Risk of Infestation
Places that get warm temperatures are heating vent areas, sunny decks or patios, or under heat-producing appliances. These places attract an even higher chance of infestation! You can see swarming termites in here by springtime.
The insects keep their nests liveable by having soil particles surrounding them. This is after finding places where the temperature stays above 0°C. Water freezing cannot do damage to them. They will find places in homes near heating ducts and firewood piles that always have a temperature of at least 12°C.
Stay on the lookout for the presence of a subterranean termite colony during winter! You can see mud tubes, wings, and damaged wood. They can move indoors when there is water as well as some kind of food source.