When you live in South Florida, bugs and pests just come with the territory. Still, that doesn’t mean you want to be sharing your home with them. There are a lot of different species that may be encroaching on your living space, but none can damage your home as considerably and as quickly as the subterranean termite.
There are mainly three types of termite found throughout the United States: subterranean, drywood and dampwood. Subterranean termites in particular are very common in our area, and are largely responsible for the cost of termite destruction and control each year. They are active throughout the year, especially with Florida’s subtropical climate, but they start swarming in the spring. There are two types of subterranean termites, Asian and Formosan. While Asian termites stick mostly to South Florida, you can find Formosan termites as far north as South Carolina.
The biggest problem with subterranean termites is most of the time you won’t even know they are there until it is too late and the damage is done. They thrive on moisture, and live and feed in soil. These pests are masters at building mud tubes for transportation as they feed on wood above the soil surface, meaning if you have a wood home, you need to be especially weary of the silent destroyers. However, concrete homes aren’t immune from subterranean termite damage, these hungry critters can create tunnels between your concrete blocks and make their way to feast on the attic in your wood.
Another way subterranean termites try to make your home theirs is during their large and frequent swarms. Consisting of tens of thousands of subterranean termites, these swarms occur because the colony is leaving their home in search of a new one. And without proper protection and treatment access, their next home could be yours.
These pesky insects constantly threaten your home, but there are some steps you can take to help prevent an infestation and spending a fortune on repairs. Since termites love moisture and wood, start by eliminating their feeding and breeding grounds. Make any necessary repairs to sources that could be creating standing water. This includes facets, pipes, A/C units and sprinkler systems. Work on keeping your gutters and downpipes free from debris in addition to sealing any entry points around pipes.
Don’t make it easy for termites to get in – store your lumber or firewood away from the foundation or crawl space of your home. Be sure to inspect your outside decks and wooden fences regularly to monitor for damage. It is also important to be sure any wood of your home is not coming in contact with the soil.
It is important to be vigilant about subterranean termites. These bugs could be living in and feeding on your property for many years without you knowing. Don’t let your home be a termite’s next meal. Understand your risks as a resident of South Florida and take the proper steps now to keep your home termite-free in the future.