Termites in South Florida. Lots of them. These are the unique challenges homeowners in this State face. This region is known for its humid climate and diverse ecosystem, which makes it a hotbed for various termite species. Yes, we are not just dealing with one species but several.
Termite infestation is a serious threat to the structural integrity of homes and buildings in Florida State, but these pests can be prevented and also eliminated. It starts with learning about these insects and knowing the signs.
Florida's humid climate fosters multiple termite species, each requiring specific control strategies.
Swarming season is an important time for detecting termite activity, signaling potential infestations.
Recognizing signs of termite infestation early can prevent extensive and costly damage to structures, and calling in professional pest control can mitigate your pest problem.
Different Termite Species in South Florida
As we have mentioned before, everal termite species are present in Florida. Here are the common ones:
Native subterranean termites (Native)
These are native species of termites that are often responsible for significant structural damage in homes and buildings, primarily due to their stealthy nature. This type of subterranean termite species likes to form complex colony structures underground and is particularly attracted to softwoods.
An infestation by native subterranean termites is particularly problematic as it often goes unnoticed until the damage is extensive because these termites eat wood from the inside out.
Formosan subterranean termites (Non-native)
The Formosan subterranean termite species is not native to Florida. The species was accidentally introduced to the Southern part of the USA from China after World War II.
Aggressive and formidable, they are notorious for their large colonies and rapid wood consumption. They're particularly troublesome due to their ability to build carton nests in walls, which enables them to retain moisture without returning to the soil.
Asian subterranean termites (Non-native)
Asian subterranean termites are also a non-native species. A relatively new threat, these termites are similar to the native subterranean species, but they are far more aggressive and can cause damage at a faster rate.
Eastern subterranean termite (Native)
The Eastern Subterranean Termite is another native species commonly found in South Florida. As a subterranean termite, it lives in moist soil and constructs extensive mud tubes for protection and moisture while traveling. This species is known for its large colonies and significant appetite for wood, posing a major risk to wooden structures.
Drywood termites (Native)
Unlike their subterranean counterparts, drywood termites inhabit the wood they consume. Unlike their underground counterparts, drywood termites can live without soil contact. They are often found in attic spaces and can be identified by their droppings, which resemble small, ridged pellets.
West Indian drywood termite (Non-native)
The West Indian drywood termite species is less commonly found but still present in South Florida. They thrive in dry conditions and can be found in wood furniture and framing. Drywood termites live in smaller colonies but can cause extensive damage over time.
Dampwood termites (Native)
As the name suggests, these termites prefer moist and decaying wood. They are less common in urban areas. The presence of a dampwood termite colony is usually indicative of moisture issues in the structure they are in.
What is Swarming Season and Why Should You Be Aware of It?
Swarming season is one of the things to watch out for when you're concerned about termites. It is a critical period in the termite life cycle, especially for species like the subterranean and Formosan termites.
During this time, usually in the spring, termites leave their colonies to form new ones. Swarming is triggered by warmer temperatures and often after a rain event, creating ideal conditions for termites to spread.
Termite swarmers, or winged termites, are the reproductive members of the colony. They are attracted to light and can often be found near windows or light fixtures. After swarming, they shed their wings, a common sign of termite activity.
Signs of Termite Infestation
If you see a termite swarm, a colony nearby. But a swarm isn't the only sign of an infestation. There are many others like the ones below. If you see any of these, contact a pest control professional immediately. You would want to prevent termites from settling in and becoming too comfortable.
Once a termite colony is well-settled, it can be more difficult to get rid of, not to mention the extensive damage that they can inflict on structures. Detecting a termite infestation early can save you significant trouble and money.
Subterranean termites build mud tubes for travel and moisture retention. These pencil-sized tubes can be found near the foundation or in crawl spaces.
During swarming season, termites shed their wings. Finding these near light fixtures or windows can indicate a new colony nearby.
Termites consume wood from the inside, leaving a thin veneer to hide the damage. Wood that sounds hollow when tapped could be infested.
Visible damage to wood
Look for wood that appears crumbled or carved. Drywood termites often leave behind a pattern similar to maze-like tunnels.
Drywood termites leave behind droppings that resemble sawdust or coffee grounds.
Dark or blistered wood areas
Subterranean termites can cause wood to darken or blister, a sign often mistaken for water damage.
Professional Pest Control Is the Solution
When facing termites, opting for professional pest control is often more effective than DIY approaches. Professionals have specialized knowledge about termites and use treatments that are more thorough and long-lasting, unlike DIY methods. They can reach areas where termites hide, ensuring complete eradication.
Additionally, professionals can offer preventative solutions to protect your property from future infestations. While DIY might seem cost-effective, it often fails to fully resolve the issue, leading to recurring problems.
Guard Your Home Against Termites
Keep termites from taking over your home. Southeast Florida Pest Control is your expert ally in the fight against these destructive pests. Specializing in comprehensive termite treatment, we're here to protect your property in Port St. Lucie, Delray Beach, and beyond.
We use the Sentricon System, an advanced baiting technology that targets termite colonies at their core. The system is safe for pets, humans, and the environment but will provide complete eradication of your termite problem.
You can trust us to deliver long-term protection against termites, keeping your home safe and secure. Get protected from termites now. Call us at 855-507-0857 for a FREE quote.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are termites common in South Florida?
How do I get rid of termites in South Florida?
Eradicating termites typically involves professional pest control services. Methods like the Sentricon system, liquid treatments, and tent fumigation are effective. Regular inspections and preventative measures are also crucial.
What months are termites active in Florida?
Termites are generally active year-round in Florida due to its warm climate. However, swarming season, particularly important for spotting termite activity, usually occurs in the spring.
What percentage of homes in Florida have termites?
It's challenging to state an exact percentage, but termites are a significant concern in Florida. Most homes in the region are at risk of termite infestation due to the prevalent conditions favoring termite activity.