(WAFB) - Spring brings out all sorts of critters, but swarming termites may be the most despised. Local exterminators say the pesky insects are out in full force now, and their phones are ringing off the hook.
"We did have a couple swarms already this year prior to Mother's Day, and things are starting to get pretty busy," said Jacob Cohn, licensed operator of Arrow Termite and Pest Control in Baton Rouge.
Getting rid of the swarms may be easier than you think.
"Just turn off the lights," Cohn explained. "You'll see a lot of people panic. Don't panic. Don't go out there with Raid."
Swarming termites are attracted to light, and they only live long enough to mate, about 24 hours. The real hidden enemy are the worker termites. Cohn says the best way to prevent damage is with professional treatment, but homeowners should do everything possible to keep out moisture. Fix any leaks in your roof and keep soil levels below the foundation. Overgrown grass and tress give termites an easy way in.
"If you have plants touching your home, that's living moisture that's right up against your house. They can go up a tree and get onto your house that way," Cohn explained.
If you think you have termite damage, companies like Arrow use high-tech tools to make the diagnosis.
Click here for more tips from Arrow Termite and Pest Control.
"Instead of opening up a wall, you could actually put this moisture meter up to the area and see if you have some activity going on," Cohn demonstrated. He also uses a thermal imaging camera to spot nests behind drywall.
Cohn says the 70810 zip code and Prairieville areas seem to be the hardest hit so far this season.