People travel to Florida from all over the world thanks to our favorable, year round weather. Unfortunately, tourists and residents aren’t the only ones soaking up our Southern Sun. Termites can be found here year round. In most places that experience colder Winters, termites disappear for a time. Not here though. Termite activity slows down in the Winter time but they are still ever present. With Spring being right around the corner, termites are about to come out in full force. Most Florida residents know what signs to watch for to identify termites. But if you’re new to the area or aren’t sure of how to identify termites and termite colonies, Southeast Florida Pest Control is here today to give you all the information you need to protect your home and keep your belongings termite free this season!
Drywood Termite Swarmers
Unlike their counterparts, the subterranean termite, Drywood species do not need to have any contact with soil or moisture to survive. In fact, they prefer the exact opposite. They generally live in dry, undecayed wood with little to no moisture. They can cause serious damage to a home’s structural timbers, fire wood piles, utility poles, furniture or any other dry wood they can get to. In the Spring, a king and queen will find a place suitable for their colony, make round holes about 1/6-1/8 inch in diameter to gain access into the wood, where they will then plug the entrance holes and begin carving out the chambers where the queen will lay her eggs. The nymphs that hatch then become the soldiers and reproductive forms. Drywood termite colonies consist of a king and queen, soldiers and reproductive forms. Unlike other termite species, there is no distinct worker caste. Typical Subterranean Termite colonies consist of 500,000-millions of termites in each colony, whereas drywood species only have about 10,000.
April-July is Drywood Termite Swarming Season
When the weather really starts to warm up, like we are now experiencing, termites become active again. From about April-July, termites begin swarming. Swarming typically occurs just after rain. Termites do this to find a mate they can start a new colony with. If you find termites swarming near your home, you can be sure there is a larger infestation nearby. Swarmers are dark brown and only about ½ inch long with wings. Once they find a mate and choose their nesting spot, they shed their wings and begin working on multiplying their colony.
Signs of Drywood Termites
Drywood termite excretal pellets (frass) are a common sign of a Drywood Termite infestation. These are hard pellets they eject from the wood they are boring into or feeding from. They typically make entry into wood from a crack or crevice. If you find small pieces of frass laying around a wooden object, a termite inspection should be in order. Because of their love of dry wood, movable furniture is often attacked. It is important to thoroughly inspect any furniture you obtain, before bringing it home. Especially pre-owned furniture! Termites are good at hiding, so often times people won’t even know of their presence until the wood begins to decay and deteriorate.
Termite Inspections & Treatment
Older homes are the most susceptible to termite infestations. Experts everywhere agree that homes should be inspected yearly to every 3 years for termites and termite damage. Early detection is key and with regular inspections it is possible to save yourself thousands of dollars in damage to your home, or home’s structure. If you’d like further information about Drywood Termites, or simply have a question, don’t hesitate to call Southeast Florida Pest Control. We’re here to help!