If you own a home or business in Southeast Florida you are probably somewhat familiar with termites and their destructive natures. What you may not realize is that there are more than 50 different species of termites found in the United States alone. According to research collected by independent agencies, termites are responsible for billions of dollars in property damage each year and infest more than 350,000 structures. Termites are classified into three groups, dampwood termites, drywood termites and subterranean termites. Each group of termites has distinctly different habits and patterns of behavior.
Subterranean Termite Identification & Behavior
Subterranean termites vary in color between creamy white to dark brown or black with six legs and a body that is described as long, narrow and oval in shape. They are approximately 1/8 of an inch in length and can be found throughout the United States. Subterranean termites are well known for their distinctive tunnels which are often called mud tubes. The tunnels are used by the termites as both a source of protection and as a passageway that enables them to reach food. Termites eat constantly using scissor-like jaws to chew wood and products that contain cellulose. Subterranean termites will swarm during the spring when groups of reproductive termites move away to begin new colonies. The underground colonies have been known to contain as many as two million individuals. Subterranean termites can also be found in areas above ground that are moist.
Subterranean Termite Damage & Destruction
Subterranean termites are extremely destructive. Far more so than dampwood and drywood termites. Subterranean termites have hard jaws that are described as being saw-toothed which work like a pair of scissors to remove tiny fragments of wood. They live in large underground colonies that move freely though an intricate series of tunnels and chambers. The worker termites are responsible for constructing tunnels of mud and saliva to reach wood above ground. As the termites consume wood, it is replaced with soil to help maintain the correct levels of humidity needed to ensure the survival of the colony. If you find mud tunnels on the foundation or outside walls of your home or business, it is highly probable that you are in the midst of a subterranean termite infestation. When left to their own devices termites can destroy a building. This results in obvious financial hardship for the home or business owner. If you suspect that you have termite activity in or around your property, contact the knowledgeable experts at Southeast Florida Pest Control for immediate assistance.
Subterranean Termite Prevention & Treatment
If you are planning on buying an existing piece of property or you are in the process of building a new home in an area that is considered high risk, it would be prudent of you to contact the professionals at Southeast Florida Pest Control to provide professional services to prevent and protect your home from termites and the resulting destruction. According to the professionals at Southeast Florida Pest Control there are several things that you can do to deter subterranean termites from advancing on your property including:
• Avoiding the accumulation of water near your properties foundation by ensuring that water is diverted away from your home or business with properly maintained downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
• Reduce humidity in areas such as crawl spaces with the proper levels of ventilation
• Refrain from burying scrap wood in your yard and even more importantly, eliminate all areas of wood contact with the soil by maintaining a one inch gap between the soil and any wood sections of the building.
For more information regarding termite prevention and control in your South East Florida home or commercial business, contact the experts at Southeast Florida Pest Control today.