As beautiful as our Gulf Coast scenery, beaches and sunsets look, unfortunately, there are hidden dangers just below the surface.
From November to March, that danger has a name - Light Southeastern Subterranean Termites.
There’s a saying we often quote around Good News Pest Solutions, attributed to our owner, Dean Burnside – "There are two types of homes in Florida - those that have termites, and those that will."
Of all the termites that could move into your Florida home, subterranean termites are easily the worst – and this is their prime time of year. But that can also work to your favor.
Most people first notice subterranean termites during their swarming season. Southeastern subterranean termites are about ⅓ inches long and have light brown bodies. Like most termites, they depend on wood for survival. In the case of southeastern subterranean termites, they favor plywood and structural lumber over the rotting wood you might find outdoors.
Because of their nature, there may be few signs of subterranean termite activity most of the year, which is why swarming season is so important. During the warmer months of the year, you might spot mud tubes, fecal pellets and hollow sounding wallboard or baseboards that appear partially eaten.
Colonies of termites spread through swarming from November and December through February and March – as much of a fall and winter as we get here in the Sunshine state. During swarming season, winged alates will leave the ‘nest’ in your walls and fly off to burrow holes into decomposing or rotting wood. Once they’ve gotten started, they’ll work their way back into the nearest wooden structure.
After a usually short journey, the flying termites will drop down and shed their wings. Females start searching for a suitable nesting location – again, often favoring rotted wood for the moment. The males follow and soon they form a royal chamber. Once they start reproducing, they spread out, usually joining other termite nesting sites.
Subterranean termites form a network beneath (and sometimes above) the surface of the soil, consisting of interconnected feeding sites. A single colony of subterranean termites may contain 100,000 - 1,000,000 termites and forage up to 300 feet in search of food. New colonies quite often will simple expand the existing underground network a few feet at a time.
The compulsive eating habits of subterranean termites often causes major structural damage to a home if not caught in time. Unfortunately, once you determine you have an infestation, it may already be too late to escape unscathed. And there’s no DIY solution to Southeastern Subterranean Termites. Once you’ve found termites in your home, drastic measures obviously need to be taken.
As a preventative measure, you can double check that no structural wood touches the soil. Newer homes in Southwest Florida have poured foundations and often concrete block bases. If you’re building a new home, you can get a termite inspection ahead of time. You’ll want to be careful with any type of wood-based mulch to make sure it doesn’t provide termites a path into your home. Older homes or homes on stilts are obviously more at risk. State officials have seen some success with physical barriers like stainless steel screening.
The best approach by far is to ensure your home is protected by looking out for termites ahead of time. Our Term Assure 365 not only offers the best protection against the cockroaches, spiders, silverfish and ants, but also provides a full year of termite preventative measures and a million dollar repair warranty.
Our experienced technicians inspect and protect your home, then install termite monitoring stations all around. Throughout the year, we continue to keep your home safe with Perimeter Plus as well as checking the monitoring stations – all for a lot cheaper than the cost of repairing termite damage! For more details. Just give us a call!« Back to Blog
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