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Lowcountry termite swarms create buzz on social media

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Termites have burrowed their way into the Facebook pages of some Lowcountry neighborhoods.

One person posted a video on the West Ashley United Facebook group that appears to show a swarm of subterranean termites inside the CVS on Savannah Highway.

Several people commented on the post, saying they too have noticed swarms of termites in neighborhoods lately.

Another person posted a video on Monday in the I Live in Wagener Terrace Facebook group that shows hundreds of termites on the ground.

The swarms, though, are normal this time of year, according to Chris Bavosa, the owner of East Cooper Termite and Pest Solutions.

Bavosa said he’s received at least a dozen calls in the past two days regarding termite swarms.

“This time of year, really after a rainfall, we start seeing some termite swarms,” Bavosa said.

Subterranean termites live in the ground. The swarmers, though, are the termites that mate, according to Bavosa.

“They are the kings and queens that fly off and make other termite colonies,” he said. “You see a few in the house if they're on the house. You could see several thousand. One year I was down at Joe Riley Stadium, and the whole stadium was full of termites. Nobody believed me. Millions of them just swarming at a baseball game.”

He said they don’t fly very far, and drop their wings once they hit the ground. That’s when they burrow into the ground.

Homeowners should keep their windows and door frames sealed because subterranean termites need moisture to survive.

“They're very small,” he said. “These swarmers are about the size of a grain of rice.”

You should turn your lights off to prevent attracting termites at night. If not, they could find a way inside your home.

“If you do have your lights on and they do swarm in your neighbor’s yard or in your yard, they're going to find your way into your home through a crack in the door or a crack in the window, but they can't survive without a moisture source, which is wet wood on your home or the earth.”

Bavosa said the swarming season will drop off in mid-June.

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