Are Termites Active in the Winter?

Termites Dig Deeper for Food During Cooler Months
Termites remain active year round – even during the winter. However, winter brings some changes in the daily routine of subterranean termite colonies. In cooler climates, subterranean termites typically move deeper into the ground during the cold season to access the warmth they need to survive. Foraging tunnels may be somewhat deeper for those species that travel near the soil surface, and food sources that are exposed to cold temperatures may be abandoned. While subterranean workers will forage closer to their nests during the winter, they will remain active (although likely not quite as active as during warmer months).

In heated buildings and the soil adjacent to heated basements, tunneling and general activity may be little changed. During most of the year, queens lay eggs at a steady rate. The number of eggs produced by the queen varies depending on the species, and the age of the queen.

In southern regions, with warm winter temperatures, egg production is continuous throughout the year, although there are seasonal fluctuations. For termites living in temperate regions, which have low winter temperatures, egg production is often suspended during the cold months.

Finding termites in the winter time inside your home is possible. Subterranean and drywood termites that have found shelter and food in your home’s foundation and walls will not be as affected by cold outdoor temperatures.

While most termites remain active during the winter, it is unlikely that you will see swarming termites between December and February, except in more tropical areas of the country like Florida where temperatures inside or outside homes can reach 70 degrees or higher. In more northern parts of the country, you may see other signs of termites in the winter, such as mud tubes or damaged wood.

Trained termite inspectors can inspect your home and identify active or previously active colonies any time of the year. Contact your termite expert if you see signs of an infestation.