Can I spread termites by traveling somewhere infested?

A reader e-mailed in this question:

"I have two questions. 1. Do termites roam freely around houses ouside of walls in plain site and 2.I am currently staying at a friends house that has termites. If one or some get in my bag will I need to worry? I am traveling back home to a log cabin in week. Should I be worried??"
For the first question - you will not see most termites wandering around outside the colonies.

The only kind most people ever see are the "swarmers" or reproductives - these are the ones with wings that go out to start new colonies.

Usually you see these in the spring or in warmer weather, and the come out in giant swarms to try to find a new home.

Basic Info About Termites

How to Inspect for Termites

Termite Pictures

Ways to Protect Your House

Liquid Treatments

Bait Treatments

Borate Treatments


For the second, whether there is a risk of you spreading them, the only risk is if you are carrying around the swarmers somehow. A worker termite or soldier termite cannot start a new colony. They might crawl into your stuff, but alone they can't do anything. Now, if you happen to be traveling during the swarming period, there is a risk that one of the flying termites could hitch a ride with you. Luckily, they die fairly quickly (usually within 48 hours or so). If you leave your stuff in the car, they won't get a chance to start a new colony in time. Just make sure NOT to put it out in the yard to try to keep from bringing them indoors. Normally they found colonies underground, and then burrow over to your home for food.

If you have a question about termites you want answered, submit it here.

Return to Termites Guide Home Page

Text copyright 2007 and may not be reproduced without consent. This is not the official web page of any of the products listed on this site, this is a review page created by an individual.


Termites Guide