Termites are a major problem in the southeastern region of the United States. These wood-eating insects can cause extensive damage to homes and are active year-round. However, Georgia termite season typically peaks from March to November.
The period termites are visible depends on a variety of factors, including the type of termite, the weather, the amount of moisture in the soil, and human activity.
The two main types of termites you might encounter in your area are subterranean and drywood termites. Subterranean termites are more active during the warmer months, when the soil temperature is above a certain degree. They forage for food underground, so they can be affected by the changes in soil temperature. These termites can remain active in the winter if they find a warm, moist area, such as a basement. Typically found in more southern, coastal areas in Georgia, drywood termites can be active year-round, as they are found inside the wood that is in your home, allowing them not to be exposed to temperature variations.
Controlling termites is a two-part process: preventing termites from accessing your home and treating known termite colonies. Methods to help prevent termites from damaging your home include:
- Receiving regular termite inspections yearly is recommended.
- Working with your termite technician to address any concerns, such as wood-to-ground contact or excess moisture
- Receiving a customized termite prevention plan perfect for your property needs
Although termites are less active in cooler months, it doesn’t mean your home is off their mind. Give our team a call today to get ready for the termites’ off-season!
Carpenter ants and termites can wreak havoc on the wood frame of your home. Prevention and treatment depends on which species you are dealing with. How can you tell the difference between these two winged insects? Here we look at the differences in carpenter ants vs termites, along with how to eliminate them.
Carpenter ants (Camponotus) and termites (Isoptera) have many similarities, including the fact that both are infamous for causing wood damage in homes. Aside from the size of their wings during reproduction, termites are nearly the same size as the several species that make up the carpenter ant group; and, like carpenter ants, termites burrow into wood, allowing them to destroy your home’s wood frame. Because both carpenter ants and termites swarm in the spring to mate, homeowners who observe the swarms frequently confuse them.
Ants and termites have quite different lifespans—termites live longer because of their lengthy life cycle. While the queen carpenter ant can live for up to ten years, male carpenter ants marry and then die within a few months, if not weeks. Ants have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Termites, on the other hand, have a longer lifespan: the queen can live for more than 30 years, while worker and soldier termites live for one to two years and swarmers, aka reproductive termites, live for three to four years. Termites have a lengthier life cycle than ants, with five stages consisting of egg, larva, nymph, molt, and adult.
Termites can do more damage to homes than carpenter ants, causing major damage when left undetected for long periods of time. Carpenter ant damage can take years to develop and is usually easier to notice because these ants congregate in moist locations and can be seen darting around.
A closer examination of the pest in question reveals substantial physical distinctions that make it easy to distinguish between termites and carpenter ants. Examine the insect closely with a magnifying lens, or shine a bright light on it and use your naked eye.
- Body shape: When examining the insect’s body shape, pay close attention to the abdominal area. A termite does not have a “waist,” but rather a more rectangular body with no constriction in the center. The carpenter ant, on the other hand, has a well-defined, tight, constricted waist.
- Antennae: An insect’s antennae can also help you identify it. A termite’s antennae are straight and beaded, but a carpenter ant’s antennae are bent or “elbowed.”
- Wings: Both insects are winged, with four wings apiece. Wings are one of the best ways to differentiate between carpenter ants and termites. A termite has wings that are the same size and shape as its body, and they are significantly longer than its body. The back, hind wings of a carpenter ant are shorter than the front forewings, and the wings do not appear particularly long or disproportionate to the body. Another disadvantage of termites is that their wings are not as strong as those of ants. The termite’s wings readily fall off. The termite infestation can be identified by the presence of loose wings near the entry of a termite nest.
- Color: Ant workers are reddish or black in color and are usually spotted hunting for food in the open. Termite workers, on the other hand, are translucent, pale or creamy white in appearance. Unless their colony is damaged, termites are rarely observed.
The two insects interact with wood in various ways. Termites, for example, consume the wood in which they nest. Carpenter ants excavate their nests by digging into the wood; they do not eat the wood but rather push it out via holes in their colonies’ galleries. If you observe small heaps of wood shavings or frass (insect excrement) below the holes, it can help you identify a carpenter ant infestation. Carpenter ants prefer moist and damaged wood in which to build their nests, whereas termites will munch right through healthy wood.
Another noticeable difference is the appearance of the wood tunnels. Carpenter ant tunnels and galleries will be smooth and finished, whereas termite galleries will be rough and ragged because they are filled with layers of soil and mud.
Finally, the presence of mud tubes can help you identify which pest you are dealing with. A mud tube shows the presence of termites, either currently or previously. These are tubes that are created on the outside of walls or between earth and wood to serve as routes for termites.
Because carpenter ants and termites are so different, effective control strategies for each are likewise different. Carpenter ants can often be handled by removing the conditions that attracted them, but a termite infestation would usually necessitate a termite control expert. If you have a problem with either of these winged insects in or around your home, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
Florida is notorious for its termite problem, and drywood termites are a common termite species found in homes. These pests can cause considerable damage to our homes, leading to costly repairs. It’s important for homeowners to understand the methods of preventing termites from invading their homes. Check out common tips Florida homeowners can utilize to prevent a drywood termite infestation.
Seal Cracks and Gaps
Drywood termites are extremely small, typically ranging from 3/8 in length, but termite soldiers and workers can be even smaller. These pests can easily enter your home through the tiniest crack or gap. It’s important to inspect your home for any openings, including around doors and windows, and even the areas around your utility pipes. Make sure to seal them up with caulk or another appropriate sealant as soon as possible. For areas in your home that must be left open, consider using mesh screens to cover them.
Inspect Wood Furniture & Materials
Drywood termites can easily infest lumber, firewood, and wood furniture. Before bringing any of these items inside your home, it’s essential to inspect them first. Drywood termites will also infest furniture, including old pieces of antique furniture and built-in cabinets utilizing second-hand furniture.
Turn Off Lights at Night
Swarmers, or flying termites, are attracted to light sources, making it essential to eliminate them, especially at night. Particularly, drywood termite swarms like to surround light bulbs and lamps during their flight. At night, look to minimize light sources by turning them off and keeping your windows and curtains closed to avoid attracting them. Consider replacing the porch and floor lights with insect-resistant yellow bulbs to help repel them or motion sensor lighting around your home.
Regularly Inspect Your Home
Regular inspections can help you catch any signs of a drywood termite infestation early, so it’s important to recognize their signs. Inspect your home for small holes in wood, piles of droppings, or wings shed by the termites. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to call a professional for help immediately.
Hire a Professional Pest Control Company
Sometimes, the best way to prevent a drywood termite infestation is to consider hiring your local professional pest control company to inspect your home regularly, treat any existing infestations, and provide a prevention plan to avoid a future infestation. These professionals will have the knowledge, experience, and tools necessary to detect and eliminate these pests effectively.
Termites are a common pest that can wreak havoc on your home during the summertime. These tiny insects can eat through wood and other building materials, causing extensive damage to your property. Discover the signs of a termite infestation and our tips on how to prevent further termite damage to your home.
There are several signs that you may have a termite infestation in your home. These include:
- Presence of winged termites or termite swarmers near your home or inside your home.
- Mud tubes along your home’s foundation or walls.
- Hollow-sounding or damaged wood.
Preventing termite damage starts with being proactive about termite control. Here are some tips to help you prevent further damage to your home:
- Keep your home’s exterior well-maintained: Termites are attracted to wood and other cellulose-based materials. To prevent them from infesting your home, make sure to keep your home’s exterior well-maintained. This includes removing any dead trees or stumps from your yard, as well as keeping firewood and other wood-based materials away from your home.
- Keep your home’s interior clean and dry: Termites thrive in moist environments. To prevent them from infesting your home, make sure to keep your home’s interior clean and dry. This includes fixing any leaks or water damage, as well as using a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels.
- Schedule regular termite inspections: Even if you don’t see any signs of termites, it’s important to schedule regular termite inspections to catch any infestations early. A professional termite control company can help identify any signs of termite activity and provide effective treatment options.
If you discover any signs of termites in your home, consider calling your local pest control company for a free termite inspection!
Living in South Florida can come with many perks, including lots of sunshine and beautiful ocean views. Unfortunately, it can also come with termites! These silent destroyers can cause significant damage to your home from the inside out. There are several treatment options out there to help keep termites under control, including the Sentricon Always Active® system. Here is more information on subterranean termites, along with ways to prevent and eliminate them.
What are Subterranean Termites?
Let’s talk about these stealthy troublemakers! Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite found in residential areas. They thrive in moist soil and create underground colonies, where they build intricate tunnel systems to access sources of food. Their damage can go unseen for years, hence the nickname, Silent Destroyers.
How to Prevent Subterranean Termites:
- Remove Moisture from Home: Subterranean termites love moisture, so keep an eye on areas prone to dampness, such as crawlspaces and basements. Ensure proper ventilation and address any leaks or water issues promptly. By eliminating excess moisture, you’re making your home less attractive to termites.
- Protect your Home’s Foundation: Keep some space between your home and the landscaping.
- Conduct Regular Inspections: In between your yearly termite inspection, you should be conducting one of your own. Here are the most prominent signs of subterranean termites in your home:
- Mud tubes or tunnels on walls
- Swarming termites and their discarded wings
- Wood damage, like hollow sounding wood, sagging or buckling floors, or warped paint
- Frass or termite droppings near wooden structures
When it comes to termite control for subterranean termites, Sentricon Always Active® baiting system stands out as a highly effective and eco-friendly solution. The stations are strategically placed around your property, forming a protective barrier.
Once termites find the bait, they take it back to their colony for complete elimination. Having Sentricon Always Active® installed for your home ensures continuous protection against subterranean termites, year-round. Our team of experts regularly monitor the bait systems, keeping the efficacy as accurate as possible.
By implementing simple prevention measures you can lessen the chances of these termites taking over. If you’re ready for the experts to get involved, give your local pest control company a call today for a FREE inspection!
South Florida Termite Control: Types of Termites
In South Florida, our warm, humid, and tropical weather is the perfect environment for termites to thrive. If these silent destroyers invade, their damage to your home or property can be devasting and could cost thousands of dollars in repairs. In Florida, there are two common types of termites that homeowners should be aware of: drywood termites and subterranean termites. To prevent these termites, it’s important to understand their differences and methods to keep them from infesting. Read more to learn about drywood termites and subterranean termites.
Common Termites in South Florida
- These termites are brown or white and are larger than subterranean termites.
- They live and nest within wooden structures or dry wood.
- They do not need contact with the soil to live.
- One of the most common signs of their infestation is spotting frass, which can appear in piles in the infestation and often looks like sawdust.
- There are two kinds of subterranean termites, the solider and the alate or flying termites.
- These termites need a water source to survive and will live in the soil to get it.
- These termites build tunnels and nests underground to ensure it’s humid enough and where they can obtain water.
- A sign of their infestation is seeing mud tubes, a mixture of soil, wood, saliva, and feces.
- You can often spot mud tubes along a home’s foundation or floor joints inside a building.
Preventing Termites in South Florida
Preventing both types of termites is essential to protecting the structural integrity of your home. When preventing subterranean termites, look to eliminate any moisture problems from your property, including that your yard has good drainage, fixing leaky pipes, and removing items that can hold water like buckets or old tires. Likewise, make sure that you are being cautious of the areas where there is soil-to-structure contact. For drywood termites, keep firewood at least 20 feet from the home and elevated off the ground, and regularly inspect your deck or patio for signs of damage.
One of the best ways to ensure your home is termite free is to get regular termite inspections from your local termite control company. These professionals will be able to give your home a thorough inspection and recommend the best prevention plan to avoid future termite infestations.
Summer is a wonderful time of year to enjoy outdoor activities, but it’s also the season when termites are most active. Termites are known for causing extensive damage to homes and properties, and they can quickly become a costly problem if left unchecked. To properly prepare for a termite-free summer, follow these termite control tips.
Conduct a Home Inspection
The first step in preparing for a termite-free summer is to conduct a thorough home inspection. Look for signs of termite activity, such as mud tubes, wings, and damaged wood. If you find any evidence of termites, contact a pest control professional immediately.
Eliminate Moisture Sources
Termites are attracted to moisture, so it’s important to eliminate any moisture sources in and around your home. Fix any leaks in your plumbing or air conditioning system, and make sure your gutters are clean and functioning properly.
Keep Wood Away from Your Home
Termites are attracted to wood, making it crucial to keep any wood or wood-based materials away from your home’s foundation. This includes firewood, lumber, and any wooden structures such as decks or fences.
Use Termite-Resistant Materials
When building or renovating your home, consider using termite-resistant materials such as concrete, metal, or pressure-treated lumber. These materials are less attractive to termites and can help prevent infestations.
Schedule Regular Pest Control Services
Regular termite control services are an essential part of preventing termite infestations. A termite control professional can help identify and eliminate any termite activity in and around your home, as well as provide preventative treatments to keep termites at bay.
Get ready for termite season by giving your local termite control company a call today!
Termites can wreak havoc on your home, causing substantial and costly damage. These household pests are stealthy, often going undetected for long periods of time. Preventing termite damage is critical, and now is the time to get started.
Termites begin swarming in the South in early spring. So, if you don’t already have a termite control plan, now is the time to consider acquiring one. While swarming termites may not cause structural damage, they are an indication that a termite colony is active nearby. This might result in catastrophic structural damage to your property, resulting in repair expenses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although spring and summer are peak swarming season, termites can be active year-round, especially in warmer climates like ours.
There are various techniques of termite management, and determining which one is best for your property can be difficult. After all, we’re talking about safeguarding one of your most valuable investments! Because termite damage isn’t usually covered by homeowners insurance, it’s imperative to not only get your property treated, but also to have a solid termite guarantee.
Treatment Options for Termites
If you understand how termites work, you could try your hand at DIY termite control. There are a variety of options available for this, ranging from simple liquid barrier treatments to termite baiting systems. If you have any slabs linked to your home or a basement, this can be a difficult task. To keep termites out, a liquid barrier must be comprehensive with no gaps.
Liquid Barrier Treatment
If you have active termites or damage, several pest control firms will offer a liquid treatment. This offers both immediate and long-term termite protection. Make sure your termite treatment comes with a decent warranty, especially one that covers termite re-treatments and any damage caused after treatment.
Borate Wood Treatment
This method of termite treatment is great if your home is still under construction. The wood structure is coated with borates, which are soil elements that provide long-term termite protection while also repelling common domestic pests.
Termite Bait Treament
Baiting systems have been shown to be efficient at eliminating entire termite colonies underground around your home, are less invasive than liquid treatments, are suitable for both new and existing structures, and typically come with a lifetime warranty. It is also the most environmentally friendly solution to defend your home from termites, as it eliminates the need for hundreds of gallons of chemicals. Monitoring devices are placed strategically around your property’s perimeter. The stations have a bait tube that termites are drawn to.
- Keep mulch away from the perimeter of your home. Termites consume this as food.
- Keep any wood items away from your home. Termites can feed on firewood, crossties, and the building project you’ve been working on.
- Maintain your gutters. Termites thrive in damp environments, so keeping the ground surrounding your home dry is critical.
If you have a problem with termites or any other household pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
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Subterranean termites are a frequent problem for homeowners. They are highly destructive insects that can cause extensive damage to your home if left unchecked. It’s critical to act as soon as you suspect an infestation. Let’s break down how to discover a termite infestation and how to handle it.
Identify the Problem
The first step to handling a subterranean termite infestation is to identify the problem. Look for the signs of termite activity, including mud tubes, which are pencil-sized tubes of mud that termites use to travel from their nests to your home; and wings, which termites shed as they establish new colonies. If you find evidence of termites, it’s essential to act quickly.
Inspect Your Home
The next step is to inspect your home thoroughly. Look for any areas that might be open to termite activity, such as wood that is in contact with soil, moisture-damaged wood, and wood that is close to plumbing or heating systems. Pay special attention to the foundation, crawl spaces, and basements, as these are the areas where termites are most likely to enter your home.
Call a Professional
If you suspect you have a termite infestation, it’s important to call a professional pest control company. They have the expertise and equipment to accurately diagnose and treat the problem. A local termite control company can also advise you on the best course of action to prevent future infestations.
Take Preventative Measures
To prevent future termite infestations, you should take a few preventative measures. Keep firewood, piles of leaves, and other organic matter away from your home’s foundation. Ensure proper ventilation in your crawl spaces and basements. Seal any cracks or holes in your foundation and fix any leaks or moisture problems in your home.
If you suspect you have a termite infestation, it’s important to act as soon as possible. With the right help, you can successfully handle a termite infestation and protect your home from further damage. Give your local pest control company a call today for a free termite inspection!