Termites in Florida

Termites in Flor />

While termites are nature’s way of helping wood decompose, they are also a financial burden when they consume the wood in homes and businesses. Residents who suspect they have a termite infestation should immediately contact the Orkin termite specialists and request an inspection.

In Florida, eastern subterranean termites are generally more widespread, while Formosan termites are more destructive. One of the reasons for this is the size of their colonies, which can reach millions of termites.

The pests also produce secondary colonies that can survive almost anywhere there’s moisture, such as around plumbing leaks or other sources of damp wood. Therefore, Formosan termites are often able to destroy homes in a matter of months.

Dampwood Termites

Other important termites found in Florida are drywood and dampwood termites. As their name would imply, dampwood termites typically infest wood that is moist from water leaks or in contact with soil. However, dampwood termites do not live and forage in the soil like subterranean termites.

Wood in contact with the ground, wood around leaks in the roof, wood siding, and wood that shows evidence of fungal decay are all conducive to infestations.

Florida’s dampwood termites are frequently found in the subtropical woodlands, mangrove forests, and urban settings of the state. An interesting characteristic of dampwood termites is their attraction to lights that are left on at night.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites, often called powderpost termites, prefer wood that is dry. One of the most common indicators of an infestation is the piles of fecal pellets that accumulate below the wood upon which they are feeding. These fecal pellets resemble grains of sand.

Unlike subterranean termites, colonies of drywood termites develop and grow slowly, sometimes taking five years or more to reach maturity. Even when conditions are conducive to colony growth, the pests reproduce slowly.

Unfortunately, the most effective methods of getting rid of drywood termite infestations are whole or partial fumigation, heat treatments, or injections of control products into damaged wood.

When Do Termites Swarm in Florida?

Because Florida is warm and humid, different termite species swarm throughout the year. The swarming habits of the most common species in Florida are described below.

  • The eastern subterranean termite swarms in daylight between October and February. (In other states, this species swarms from February to May.)
  • The dark southeastern subterranean termite usually swarms in daylight between March and June.
  • The light southeastern subterranean termite swarms in daylight from December to April.
  • The Formosan termite swarms at night during the late spring.
  • The tropical rough-headed drywood termite swarms at night, from April through July.
  • The tropical smooth-headed drywood termite can swarm any time of the year. Most colonies swarm in the afternoon between March and May.
  • The western drywood termite has been identified during the day along both coasts in Florida. Swarms have been reported for every month in Florida, except December.
  • The southeastern drywood termite swarms at night, typically in the spring.
  • All three Florida dampwood termite species swarm at dusk or at night. Neotermes castaneus tends to swarm in the late fall or early winter. The other two Neotermes species swarm in the late spring or summer.

More Information about Termites in Florida

According to Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones), Florida is located in TIP Zone #1 (very heavy), which means the potential for termite damage is considered significant. Areas with higher probabilities for termite activity require more termite control measures to meet International Residential Code building standards for new homes than areas with less frequent activity.

The tropical rough-headed drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis) is one of the most destructive drywood termite species in the U.S. Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, St. Petersburg and Tampa all have heavy populations of this species. This termite is sometimes called the West Indian drywood termite.

In states like Florida where termites are very active and widespread, it is essential to maintain an effective termite prevention and control program. If you own a home in Florida, talk to your termite control expert about methods to help protect your home from termite infestations and damage.

www.orkin.com

It’s Termite Season. How to Fight Back.

You might see them in the evenings, moving beneath street lights and porch lamps like speckled clouds.

Or spot signs of them around your house: brown lines weaving up outdoor walls, sawdust-like droppings at the back of a dresser drawer, or tiny insects flying in front of a TV screen.

Termites.

Don’t panic. You can effectively combat the pests whose wood-chomping proclivities make them a scourge of the insect world.

Be aware. If you see signs of termites, or termite damage, contact a licensed and reputable pest control company. Better yet, call three companies and go with the one that best suits your needs.

Here’s what you need to know, and to look for:

  • Drywood termites swarm in evenings, generally from April through July. They like anything made of wood or wood byproducts – attics, floors, furniture, books – and live in colonies. Look for the insects’ wings, mounds of tiny fecal pellets, or wooden surfaces that have developed blisters, indicating the substance beneath them is hollow.
  • Subterranean termites are the most destructive. You’re likely to encounter them from December through May. These termites crave moisture, and infest wood from underground. To move upward, they build mud tubes to protect themselves from dry air and predators. Look for the tubes, and tap wood to see if it’s hollow beneath the surface.

There’s lots of information about termites online. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is a great resource. Search for “termites.” Learn about the types of termites in Florida, and how to prevent them from establishing a colony in your home. You also can find out how to detect their presence, and what to do if you determine the insects have infested your house or possessions.

Some other thoughts:

  • Eliminate places where water collects. For instance, inspect soffits, window frames, and concrete slabs. Don’t place mulch or landscape plants directly next to a building. Make sure outdoor faucets and sprinklers point away from structures.
  • Limit wood-to-ground contact, and use pressure-treated wood when possible.
  • Carefully examine furniture for the presence of termites before bringing it home.
  • If you see termites, note the time of day and date.

Treatments vary, depending on types of termites. Make sure you know what kind you have. No idea? Put a sample of an insect, not just its wings, in a small container filled with rubbing alcohol. Show the sample to your pest control expert.

Termites are here throughout the year, but they are particularly noticeable in springtime. Pay attention, gather pertinent information, and act decisively to get qualified help.

With knowledge and expert counsel, you’ll get through this.

www.hillsboroughcounty.org

When do termites swarm in florida

As the spring and summer humidity returns to the Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie areas, so does the termite swarm season. The humid air of the Sunshine State sparks termite activity, setting homeowners on high alert.

Some of the most common species of termites seen during Florida’s swarm seasons are:

Dry wood termites

Damp wood termites

The dry wood and subterranean termites are the most damaging termites found by termite control services in Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Termite swarms are new colonies of termites created from mating termites (also referred to as alates). When late spring rolls around, the alates surface from infested wood for a short period of time before returning back to the ground.

Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to avoid termite swarms, however there are a few signs of termite infestation you can look for.

  1. If there are swarms of flying ants, or termites, in your Florida home or yard this might be an indication you have a mature termite colony infestation. It is incredibly important you call a termite control service for termite treatment to immediately to get ahead of any structural damage your house may have endured.
  2. ‘Sagging’ walls, ceilings or floor is a standard indicator that your house may have termites. The structural damage termites invite on a home mimic the effects of water damage; typically this type of damage is a result of the more advanced stages of infestation
  3. Tunnels of mud under the house or at the foundation’s base
  4. Small and scaly wings found on window sills or around doors
  5. Presence of tiny fecal pellets. If you find small holes in your walls and/or furniture with tiny fecal pellets inside you most likely have a case of dry wood termites.

Something important to note is termite swarms that you only find outside your home does not necessarily mean you have a termite infestation. Since these pests usually originate within the foundation of your home, porch or other structure, if you do not find them directly in your home you may be safe from infestation but should schedule an inspection just in case.

If you live in Florida, you know it’s not a matter of if you get termites, it’s a matter of when you get them. However, you can carry out a few home maintenance steps to help prevent infestation:

  1. Caulking any cracks or holes in your foundation
  2. Sealing any vents or openings with mesh screens
  3. Keep you lawn clear of landscaping debris, including covering and placing firewood a safe distance from your house
  4. Control moisture levels within your home (a dehumidified may be helpful for homes located in high-humidity parts of the country)

Protecting your home in advance is always the recommended treatment for termites, but it is not the only solution. If you have yet to take preventative measures and do suspect a termite infestation, there is no time to waste. For termite control services and treatment costs in northern Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie, schedule an inspection with Travis Pest Management today.

www.travispestmanagement.com

When do termites swarm in florida

It’s that time of year. School is coming to an end, summer plans are in gear, and subterranean termites are swarming.

Yes, these termites, commonly found in South Florida, swarm in the spring. And if you’re not familiar with swarming, stay tuned for a quick overview!

Swarming Season

Swarming is the process by which termites locate a new home near an available food source and begin a new colony. During swarming season in late spring, specific termites known as “swarmers” leave their colony in search of an ideal location for their next colony. The “swarmers” don’t cause damage to your home or other structures because they don’t have the ability to chew wood or fiber. But, they pave the way for their fellow termites to colonize and begin destruction of surrounding materials. Although disconcerting to humans, this is all part of the natural termite life cycle that allows termites to reproduce.

The subterranean termite typically colonizes underground, creating mud tubes that protect them from predators. Mud tubes may be evident on the side of buildings or wood structures. During swarming season, thousands of termites fly through mud tubes seeking out new homes, typically attracted by large concentrations of available cellulose. Subterranean termites also can cause damage to anything made of fiber as well as insulation, paper, and infiltration systems.

Formosan Termites

Known as “super termites”, the subterranean Formosan Termites are the most aggressive species of termites. Like other subterranean species including Eastern Subterranean Termites, Formosan Termites colonize underground and create mud tubes. But, these termites consume cellulose and fiber so quickly that a colony can destroy the structure of a building in months. Significant termite damage to a home after only a few months of an infestation may require repairs upwards of $50,000.

Flying Ants or Termites?

Swarming termites build a colony quickly! So, if you see something that resembles flying ants, you may have found the beginning of a termite colony. Wondering if they are indeed flying ants or termites?

Take a close look – if the antennae are straight, wings are the same length, and they have a relatively straight body, they’re probably termites. If you think you may have termites, you need to act fast and potentially stop an infestation. The faster you can control the activity, the less damage you will have.

Home Treatments

Unfortunately, home treatments with topical sprays just cannot reach the colonies that are typically embedded in the building structure. Consequently, these treatments will allow the termites to continue attacking the wood and fiber in their path.
Whether they are Formosa Termites, Eastern Subterranean Termites or any other termite species, if you find “ants with wings”, it’s time to call in the professionals before the termites destroy your home or building.

Professional Termite Elimination

Florida Pest Control Center (FPCC) is the Florida expert in treating Formosan and Eastern Subterranean Termites, using the most advanced technologies to safely eliminate termites. The process of termite removal requires pest control professionals – technicians who are knowledgeable about termite behavior patterns, their food sources, breeding, and preferred habitats. Using this knowledge, we effectively treat the ground-based infestation using pumps, injections, bait, and soil rods. In addition, our newest subterranean termite truck is equipped with dual pumps and hoses to allow us to combine the strength of both liquid and foam termiticide treatments.

We also use innovative treatments to create a non-repellent barrier between your building and the ground, effectively preventing new termites from entering to the ground for the moisture they need to survive. Without blend of powerful treatments, termite infestations will be rapidly eradicated.

Florida Pest Control Center (FPCC) employs comprehensive, state-of-the art technologies, chemical, and non-chemical treatments to eliminate pest problems in residential homes, businesses, hospitals, medical facilities, group homes, and apartment and condominium buildings. Our highly trained professionals provide a fast, complete solution to your ants, mosquitoes, termites, bed bugs, rodents, and other pest infestations.

For more information or for a free estimate, please visit us at Florida Pest Control Center (FPCC) or contact the Florida Pest Control Center (FPCC) at 866-697-3555 today. Florida Pest Control Center (FPCC) services are licensed, insured, and guaranteed.

www.floridapestcontrolcenter.com

What Do Termites Look Like In Flor > March 15, 2019 . Posted by Cameo Jenkins in Pest Control • Orlando

Most homeowners do their best to keep any and all bugs out of the house. Unfortunately, some bugs are arguably worse than others, and some are harder than others to detect. Termites fall into both categories: They are some of the most destructive insects around—the National Pest Management Association estimates they cause American homeowners five billion dollars’ worth of damage each year—and since they build their colonies out of sight, they can easily go undetected for long periods of time. If you’ve never seen a termite before, you might wonder, What do termites look like in Florida? Learning the answer to this question will help you identify these undesirable pests, hopefully before they cause costly structural damage to your home.

As do termites in any state, termites in Florida look a lot like large ants with wings. There are some subtle differences between termites and flying ants, however. Adult termites are dark brown or black, with straight antennae, long wings of equal length and a straight body, while flying ants can be black, dark brown or reddish in color, with bent antennae, wings that are uneven in length and a thin or pinched waist. At a glance, of course, to the average homeowner, these differences won’t be immediately apparent. Most people who see what appear to be flying ants might immediately suspect a termite infestation.

If you are concerned that termites are living and causing damage in your home or garage or elsewhere on your property, it is important to call a pest control specialist as soon as possible to assess your property, identify signs of the presence of termites or some other pest and suggest treatment plans to prevent further damage.

Read on to learn more about the most common types of termites in Florida, which signs of an infestation to look out for and during which season these insects are typically most active.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Termites In Florida?

Florida, with its humid and temperate climate, has the dubious distinction of being home to 21 different termite species. There are just three main types of termites in Florida, however, that are most likely to reside on your property:

  • Subterranean Termites
  • Drywood Termites
  • Dampwood Termites

There are several key differences among these three types of termites, including the types of spaces they typically inhabit, the kinds of wood they munch on and the evidence they leave that can alert homeowners to their presence.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are the most common type of termites found in Florida homes, and they also cause the most damage. These dangerous pests typically form their colonies—which can number in the thousands or even millions—in the soil near a wooden structure. The soil provides them with the moisture they need to survive, and the nearby wood provides their sustenance. To access their food, they construct mud tubes on the outside of houses and other structures that lead from their nest to the food source. These mud tubes, which look like thin lines of dried mud about the width of a pencil, are a telltale sign of the presence of subterranean termites. A key way to deter subterranean termites from building a colony near your home or garage is to make sure water does not accumulate around your home’s foundation. It’s also important to keep lumber, firewood and wood scraps elevated off the ground and well away from your home, and keep your property clear of dead trees, logs and brush.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are typically found in high-up wooden spaces like attics, but they can also be found beneath wooden floorboards. These termites need less moisture to survive than subterranean termites, and they consume dry wood as their main sustenance, which can weaken support beams and cause widespread damage in a home if allowed to continue unchecked. One of the main signs of the presence of drywood termites is the presence of frass—piles of tiny pellets that look a lot like sawdust, but which are actually termite droppings. If you find small piles of termite frass on windowsills or near baseboards in your home, or anyplace else, it is time to call a pest control company to assess the situation and determine whether termites are present. Sealing any cracks and crevices around the foundation of your home can help keep drywood termites away, but once they’ve moved in, an extermination plan will be needed.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites infest wood with high moisture content, such as decaying timber. Of the three main types of termites found in Florida, these are the largest in size. Dampwood termites are typically found in logs, stumps, dead trees or decaying fence posts or utility poles. These termites need frequent contact with water to survive, but when conditions are right, they can often live out their entire lives inside the pieces of wood they’ve infested. To keep these critters off your property, remove decaying wood of any type, and make sure water doesn’t accumulate near your home’s foundation. It is also a good idea to repair any roof leaks as well as leaking faucets, water pipes or AC units in or around your house, as dampwood termites are often drawn to these areas.

Formosan Subterranean Termite Infestations: Should You Worry?

A Formosan subterranean termite infestation is a serious problem, as these “super termites” cost American homeowners $1 billion a year in property damage, repairs and control methods.

What makes these termites so dangerous is their ability to reproduce quickly and consume enormous amounts of food. Formosan termite colonies can easily number in the millions, and a mature colony can consume over 30 grams of wood in a single day. While Formosan termites live on wood, they can use their strong jaws to chew through many other materials, including certain types of plastic pipes, thin metal sheeting, plaster and even asphalt.

Since Formosan termites are a subterranean species, they need plenty of moisture to survive, and they use mud tubes to connect their nests to their food sources. Mud tubes are one telltale sign of the presence of Formosan subterranean termites; another is their discarded wings, which the reproductives of the colony shed when they split off to form a new colony, mate and lay eggs.

If you notice mud tubes, discarded wings or damaged wood around your home or property, it’s a good idea to call a pest control specialist without delay. To deter these termites from infesting your home, keep sprinklers directed away from your house, make sure that water drains away from your home and repair any leaks as well as any cracks in your home’s foundation.

Florida Termite Identification: Understanding A Termite’s Life Cycle

Florida termite identification can be tricky for homeowners, since there are so many similarities among the different types of termites, not to mention between termites and flying ants. Still, understanding these insects’ life cycle can help us better understand how to identify Florida termites, how their colonies grow and when we should look out for evidence of termites around our homes and properties.

A termite’s life cycle begins when winged reproductive termites take flight from their colony and seek out a mate, as well as a likely spot for a new colony. These reproductives shed their wings after fertilization, and they become the queens and kings of their new colonies. A termite queen mates with male termites to lay thousands of eggs, which hatch into pale larvae called nymphs. These nymphs grow and molt several times before evolving into one of three types of adult termites: workers, soldiers or reproductives.

Workers are the termites responsible for collecting food for the colony, as well as building and maintaining the mud tubes used to access a food source. Soldier termites have large mandibles that they use to defend the colony against predators like ants and other insects. Reproductives are the termites responsible for swarming in springtime, mating and establishing new colonies.

Termite Season: Florida And Beyond

As a general rule, termite season is in springtime, when the weather warms up enough for termites to “swarm”—meaning, emerge from their mature colonies in the hundreds or thousands to establish new termite colonies. Termites often swarm after a rain. When they do, it is one of the few times when homeowners can easily see these normally hidden insects. The phenomenon looks exactly how it sounds—like countless winged, black-bodied termites swarming together in a certain area, such as on a wooden fence or the exterior of a home’s foundation.

Since Florida weather is typically warm and wet nearly year-round, termite season in Florida can often start earlier than spring. Furthermore, termites swarm in different seasons through the year depending on their weather preferences. Subterranean termites swarm during the spring because they enjoy moisture and warm weather, while drywood and dampwood termites tend to swarm during the late summer or fall months.

www.abchomeandcommercial.com

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