As the seasons change and the weather gets hot and bothered, so do the bugs. The slow start to spring combined with plentiful rainfall across much of the southeastern United States is a literal breeding ground for Formosan termites, and boy are they swarming.
If you've never had the distinct pleasure of witnessing a good ol' Formosan termite swarm, consider yourself lucky. This particular species of termite is found almost exclusively in the humid parts of the southeastern United States as their eggs only thrive in warm and humid weather, which has been more than abundant for the past few weeks.
Formosan termite swarms occur during the spring (later in spring in cooler years) for about a week. During that time, hundreds of thousands of termites burst forth from the ground and fill the sky just after sunset. It's awful. It looks like a snowstorm of bugs. If you have to go out during the swarm, you have no choice but to walk through them and they get on your clothes and in your hair and in your face and ew.
A friend of mine in Florida reported that she's starting to see termites, and I can say the same thing for Mobile, Alabama, where I noticed the first round of termites last night. They'll start swarming with a fury for the next week or so, and then they'll disappear just as quickly as they emerged. The process should start soon (if it hasn't already) across much of the areas in the southeast that are infested with Formosan termites.
Not only are the termite swarms creepy for those of us who do not like bugs, but once they shed their wings and return to the ground, they can wreak havoc on homes and cause major (and expensive) damage. The University of Kentucky's entomology department has a good website to help homeowners deal with termite damage.
A website called "Barn-o-Rama" has an incredibly itch-inducing folder on their website full of pictures of these termite swarms when they happen. The swarm in question was a particularly bad one back in 2012, the intensity of which could be repeated this year (but God I hope not).