Subterranean Termites vs Drywood Termites in South Florida

Subterranean Termites vs Drywood Termites in South Florida

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

 

Drywood Termites

  • 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.

Subterranean Termites

  • 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.

Drywood Termite Prevention in South Florida

Drywood Termite Prevention in South Florida

South Florida Termite Control: Eliminating Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are seeking dry wood as a food source and will destroy your home in the process. These termites differ from other species, such as subterranean termites, since they tend to create their colonies in wood instead of in the ground and need little moisture to survive. Unlike other species, these termites can create devasting damage to homes, excavating wood and ruining it. To prevent them, it’s best to place preventative measures throughout your property.

Inspect Your Home

The first step in preventing drywood termites is inspecting your home. By investigating your home, you can get a good idea of what repairs are needed or discover that a termite infestation has occurred. When inspecting, write down everything you see that’s a concern, as this will help overall when relaying to a pest professional. When checking the home’s interior, don’t forget to check in darker areas such as your crawl space, attic, and basements. Check around your baseboards, beams, or other wood materials. Likewise, look at any furniture or firewood inside the home too. As you are investigating the exterior of your home, be extra thorough, as these termites haven’t yet entered the home. Check your foundation, old trees, wooden sheds, and firewood.

Seal & Vent

Drywood termites are very small, ranging from 3/8 to ½ inch in length, allowing them to fit in the smallest hole or gap. If you find any openings leading into your home, it’s best to repair them immediately. Likewise, keeping your home’s attic and crawlspace well ventilated will help reduce moisture and the risk of a termite infestation. Consider encapsulating your crawlspace or insulating your attic.

Keep Your Yard Maintained

Drywood termites are looking for any wood materials to inhabit. Make sure you place firewood at least 20 feet away from the home and raise it off the ground. Additionally, trim all shrubs, bushes, or other dense greenery so that it doesn’t touch the side of your home. If you have old trees, lumber, or tree stumps, consider removing them, so these pests don’t infest and make their way inside your home.

Call a Professional

Sometimes, all the prevention in the world can’t stop termites from infesting homes. If a termite infestation has occurred, it’s best to call your local South Florida pest control company for extra help. A termite professional will provide you with a thorough inspection, a treatment plan based on your home’s needs, and recommendations on preventing them in the future.

When Does Swarming Season Begin?

When Does Swarming Season Begin?

The new year has begun and although the weather is chilly now, the luxuries of living in the south typically means that warmer weather appears sooner than later. This means that termite swarming season is just around the corner, with the earliest swarms beginning in February. Let’s break down what to expect this swarming season.

What are Swarming Termites?

Termite swarmers, often mistaken for winged ants, are most active during the spring months, when they fly away from their colony to reproduce. These swarmers are attracted to bright, light areas often seen around doors and windows in homes. Fortunately, they don’t cause wood damage, but seeing a group of them around your property typically means a colony is nearby.

Which Species Do I Need to Lookout For?

The southeastern region of the United States is home to a variety of termites, including the subterranean, drywood, and Formosan species. Subterranean is the most common type of termite found in the southeast. They live underground in colonies that can get up to two million members. They are also known to be found in moist, secluded areas above ground. With their hard, saw-toothed jaws that work like shears, they are known to cause significant damage to properties.

Termite Prevention Tips:

  • Eliminate Moisture: Repair leaky faucets, don’t let water pool near foundations, keep gutters clear, and use downspouts to divert water away from your home.
  • Maintain Landscape: Don’t let anything touch the exterior surfaces of your home (mulch & woodpiles), removing old tree stumps, and keeping shrubbery and tree limbs trimmed back away from your home.
  • Repair Home: Replace broken tiles, shingles, etc. on your roof and exposed beams in attics are a great food source and access point into your home.

If you suspect termite swarming activity or just want to get a step ahead at termite prevention, contact your local pest control company and schedule your free inspection.

Preventing Drywood Termites in South Florida

Preventing Drywood Termites in South Florida

South Florida Termite Control: Drywood Termites

Drywood termites seek dry wood as a food source and will destroy your home in the process. These termites differ from other species, such as subterranean termites, since they tend to create their colonies in wood, instead of in the ground, and need little moisture to survive. Unlike other species, these termites can create devasting damage to homes, excavating wood and ruining it. To prevent them, it’s best to place preventative measures throughout your property.

Inspect Your Home

The first step in preventing drywood termites is inspecting your home. By examining your home, you can get a good idea of what repairs are needed or discover that a termite infestation has established. When inspecting, write down everything you see that’s a concern; this will help overall when relaying to a pest professional. When checking the home’s interior, don’t forget to check in darker areas such as your crawl space, attic, and basements. Check around your baseboards, beams, or other wood materials. Likewise, look at any furniture or firewood inside the home too. As you are investigating the exterior of your home, be extra thorough, as these termites haven’t entered the home yet. Check your foundation, old trees, wooden sheds, and firewood.

Seal & Vent

Drywood termites are very small, ranging from 3/8 to ½ inch in length, allowing them to fit in the smallest hole or gap. If you find any openings leading into your home, it’s best to repair them immediately. Likewise, keeping your home’s attic and crawlspace well ventilated will help reduce moisture and the risk of a termite infestation. Consider encapsulating your crawlspace or insulating your attic.

Keep Your Yard Maintained

Drywood termites are looking for any wood materials to inhabit. Make sure you place firewood at least 20 feet away from the home and raise it off the ground. Additionally, trim all shrubs, bushes, or other dense greenery so that it doesn’t touch the side of your home. If you have old trees, lumber, or tree stumps, consider removing them so these pests don’t infest and make their way inside your home.

Call a Professional

Sometimes all the prevention in the world can’t stop termites from infesting homes. If a termite infestation has occurred, it’s best to call your local South Florida pest control company for extra help. A termite professional will provide you with a thorough termite inspection, a termite control plan based on your home’s needs, and recommendations on preventing them in the future.

 

Request a Free Termite Control Analysis

What’s Attracting Termites to my South Florida Home?

What’s Attracting Termites to my South Florida Home?

South Florida Termite Control: What’s Attracting Termites

Hot and humid, South Florida is the perfect habitat for termites! These pests cause significant damage to our homes and cost us millions in repairs, making them one of the most feared insects by homeowners. Knowing how to tell if your house has termites is the first step in eliminating them or being on top of preventing them.

Common Termites in Florida

Since Florida hosts a variety of climates, there are many species found in our state. In South Florida, the two most common termites found are drywood and Formosan (subterranean) termites. Drywood termites are known to inhabit sound wood, often infesting wood furniture. Formosan or subterranean termites need soil to live and create mud tubes to look for a food source above the surface, invading the foundation of homes.

What Attracts Termites?

We know that all termites are attracted to wood, but each species has their preference. Subterranean termites aren’t as picky about the type of wood and will eat the most common types found in homes, such as pine and oak. However, drywood termites prefer to avoid soil and will eat hardwood floors or wood found in your home’s structural framing.

Firewood and mulch are two major attractants to termites and provide an entry point inside a home. When storing firewood, make sure it is at least 20 feet away from the home’s foundation. Mulch can retain moisture, making it essential to keep it at least 18 inches away from your foundation.

Having unnecessary moisture around the home can create conditions beneficial to termites. Eliminating excess moisture inside and outside is essential in preventing termites. Make sure your yard is dry by sealing any leaks, repairing AC units, and regularly cleaning gutters to divert rainwater away. Consider enclosing your crawlspace to reduce moisture, decrease humidity, and prevent mold and wood rot.

Termite Infestation Signs

There are several signs that a homeowner can look out for when determining a termite infestation, including:

  • Soft wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Finding mud tubes on the exterior of the home
  • Cracked or bubbling paint
  • Damage around the home, such as your fence, porch, patio, or deck
  • Discarded wings near doors or windowsills, indicating swarmers

If you suspect that you have termites in your home, contact your local South Florida pest control company. These professionals will inspect your home and provide a termite treatment and prevention plan.

 

Request a Free Termite Inspection

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