Termites in Your Home
You don’t have to live in a home constructed of wood to be threatened by a termite infestation. Florida’s hot and humid climate welcomes termite activity for more months of the year than other regions of the U.S. What’s more, termites are capable of getting through plaster, metal siding, dry wall and more in order to feed on cabinets, floors, ceilings and wooden furniture inside, as well as the framework and trusses that support your home.
You might notice termite problem in your home during the spring and summer months of swarming season. If your home is infested, you could see termite wings from swarmers inside your home on windowsills, in light fixtures, etc.
Call on Heath Pest Control if you do. It is easy to mistake flying ants for termites. Not all termites swarm and you could have a termite issue for some time before you will see easily visible signs.
Common Types of Termites in Florida
There are three general categories of termites that can threaten the structure of your home.
Subterranean termites (both native and Formosan) are very common in Florida. They forage and form nests in soil and damp wood which is in contact with the soil. They also build mud tubes that extend from the soil up to the wood. The presence of mud tubes is a common sign of a subterranean termite infestation. Subterranean termites digest any material containing cellulose, primarily dead and decaying wood, as well as paper, cardboard, cotton fabrics, and plant fibers.
Subterranean termites typically swarm in the spring on humid afternoons looking to start new colonies. The non-native Formosan subterranean termite starts swarming in the spring and may continue to swarm into the summer. Their flights consist of tens of thousands of swarmers and tend to occur in the evening. Nicknamed the “Super Termite,” these highly destructive Formosan termites are very aggressive, form huge colonies, and eat wood at a rapid pace.
Eastern, Western, and Asian subterranean termites are also found in Florida’s tropical climate.
Subterranean termites will usually leave a sign of their activity. These would include the mud tubes or dirt build-up in places where dirt should not be (such as inside walls, baseboards, window sills, etc.) Check for subterranean termites in buckling wood, warped wood, hollow-sounding wood or even areas that appear to have water damage. Probing these areas may cause you to break into their tunnel, exposing dirt material and possibly the termites themselves.
Above: Owner, Jon Heath, in the University of Florida Subterranean Termite Lab.
Drywood termites live in colonies nested entirely within the wood structures they feed on because they require very little moisture. They are typically larger than subterranean termites and have a more cylindrical shape. The most common species of drywood termite found in Florida is the West Indian drywood termite which generally swarms during summer evenings.
Drywood termites can nest in sound wood and have even been known to find a home in wooden furniture! Piles of tiny pellets (feces) accumulating beneath holes in the wood may indicate an infestation of drywood termites. Clean away the debris, knock on the wood, and if more pellets fall out, CALL US! 941.922.7776
Dampwood termites require high humidity and an environment of almost constant moisture which is why they are more common in southern Florida and the Keys. They require such a high amount of constant moisture that structural infestations of these termites are rare. Their infestations are typically found when there is wood-to-soil contact, or when the wood saturated with water, such as from leaks, free-standing water, or sprinklers. Dampwood termites do not forage in the soil and are much larger than the subterranean and drywood termite species.
Prevention and Removal of Termites
Preventative treatments are affordable and available to protect your home from termites long before there is an actual problem or infestation. It’s far preferable to the extreme measure of fumigating your home.
Termites have the ability to go undetected within your home, sometimes for years, eating away at the structure and causing all kinds of damage. Research data show that termites cause billions of dollars’ worth of damage every single year. A hidden pest with the ability to cause that much damage is certainly dangerous to your home.
At Heath Pest Control we can deliver preventative treatments as well as provide full house fumigation in extreme cases of infestation. Call today to learn more. 941.922.7776
What do I do if my home has a termite infestation?
If you are faced with a termite infestation, it is important to take serious and immediate steps to protect your home.
A termite colony can include tens or hundreds of thousands of termites. While the termites themselves may be relatively small, but even a moderate sized colony can cause massive amounts of damage. In the course of a year a colony of termites could eat several pounds of wood. Very rarely does termite damage cause a building collapse, but the replacement of structural wood can be very costly.
It is very important to act immediately when you do notice signs of an invasion. The longer you let the termites remain, the more damage they are able to do.
Call us to schedule a termite inspection for your peace of mind. 941.922.7776
“Unfortunately we had fleas all over our new house ,brought in by a dog we babysat.? I immediately called Heath Pest Control (who was already my pest guy) to schedule an emergency appointment, to which he clearly explained to me my options with his company, but also my options of trying to deal with it myself. And through his guidance and information, I was able to rid my house of fleas on my own. It was very refreshing to have someone honest just trying to help me, instead of just trying to make money off of me. I will always use Heath Pest Control, And will always recommend them to my friends and family.” (Amanda Robinson)