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