Miami-Gardens Pest Control: DIY Termite Prevention
Termites are year-round pests, causing structural damage to homes and properties. The Miami-Gardens climate is hot and humid, the perfect conditions for termites. Every homeowner should implement termite control by placing certain preventative measures throughout their property to help avoid a termite infestation.
Reduce Soil-To-Wood Contact
One of the most common termites in the U.S. is the subterranean termite. These termites live in colonies underground and will build mud tubes to reach food above the ground. They will often create contact between wood and soil in crawlspaces or areas underneath your home for an entry point.
Throughout your property, make sure that you keep all lumber, wood, and mulch away from your foundation. If you are utilizing firewood, look to place it at least 20 feet away from your home, raised about 8 inches off the ground and stored in plastic containers with lids. If you have a wood fence near the home, make it a routine to check for rotted or infested wood.
Remove Excess Moisture
Most termite species need moisture to survive, often looking to our homes to find it. To help reduce the risk of termites infesting your home, reduce moisture inside and outside. Check that your gutters and downspouts are pointing away from your foundation. If you’re using a sprinkler, make sure it isn’t spraying on your home. Look inside your home for any plumbing leaks; don’t forget to check your crawlspace for leaks too. Consider investing in crawlspace enclosure, as this will reduce moisture, decrease humidity, prevent mold, avoid wood rot, and prevent termite infestations.
Invest in Annual Termite Inspections
Termites can be hard to spot on your own. These pests can go undetected for long periods, causing significant damage before you realize they’ve been there. Consider reaching out to your local Miami-Gardens pest control company which can perform an annual termite inspection. These professionals can identify signs of termites and take quick action for termite treatments to avoid a full-blown infestation. Even if you don’t suspect you have termites, it’s always a good idea to get ahead of the game when it comes to protecting against termites.
Subterranean termites are considered to be the most damaging species of termite of all. These termites can damage the infrastructure of buildings and homes, putting them at risk for catastrophic consequences. Subterranean termites are found in every US state except Alaska.
It can be hard to detect subterranean termites as they eat wood from the inside out, often staying hidden until significant damage is done. They can enter through stucco, slab foundation, or any other hidden area with access to the structure. In order to prevent termites, it’s important to recognize the signs you may have an infestation. Here are 6 signs of subterranean termites:
One of the earliest signs of subterranean termites are termite swarms. Termite swarms emerge in the spring or early summer to reproduce and establish new colonies. Seeing a termite swarm indicates the presence of a nearby colony and indicate another colony will be starting up soon, increasing your risk of an infestation inside your home.
Mud tubes are another indication of subterranean termites. These are tubes they build to travel back and forth between your home and their nest. They protect them from damage and predators and allow them to accumulate moisture which termites need to survive. Mud tubes are typically about the size of a pencil and can be on walls, ceilings, floors, exterior surfaces, and on the sides of slabs.
Termites don’t just leave visual clues to their presence – you can also hear them! If a colony is larger and established, you may hear a faint clicking or knocking sound behind your walls or in other voids. The noise is the sound of soldier termites banging their heads against wood or vibrating their bodies to indicate danger is imminent. You can even sometimes hear the worker termites chewing through the wood of your home.
During an annual termite inspection, a termite control technician may tap the wooden surfaces of your home. If termite damage is present, you will hear a hollow or paper sound instead of a solid thud when tapped. You can also look for blistering or bubbling paint or other abnormalities in or near wood structures, including window and door trim. Termite damage can often mimic water damage.
When subterranean termites tunnel through wood, they push debris and waste out behind them through tiny openings. Frass is the name for this waste they excrete. If you notice pin-sized holes with small black marks or dark powdery substance around them, these indicate the presence of kick out holes made by the termites. You may also see piles of sawdust looking material which is the frass.
Floor, door, and window damage may also indicate a termite infestation. Sagging floors can indicate a well established infestation. Take note of any floors that buckle or sag and have them inspected. Doors and windows are another area that may indicate a problem. When these structures warp or don’t open and close smoothly, it can indicate the presence of termites, as well.
If you have any of these signs of termite damage, contact your local pest control company for a thorough inspection and treatment plan.
Swarming termites, also known as alates, are termites with wings that leave their colonies with two purposes in mind: reproducing and establishing a new colony. Alates resemble flying ants and will colonize anywhere with a cellulose source and adequate moisture for survival, making your home the ideal environment for a new colony. While alates don’t bite, sting, or eat wood, they are a good indication that there is a termite colony nearby.
Why Do Termites Swarm?
Once the original termite colony reaches capacity and is ready to expand, termite swarms occur. These usually happen once per year, although some species will swarm multiple times. Swarms can contain anywhere from hundreds to thousands of alates whose sole purpose is reproduction and expansion of the colony. Once environmental conditions are right, the swarmers will launch themselves into the air and pair off. Once they’ve found their partner, both will shed their wings, mate, and find a new place to nest.
When Do Termites Swarm?
The timing of termite swarms depends on the type of termite you are dealing with. Subterranean termites typically swarm in the spring during daylight hours. Drywood termites swarm in late summer and early fall, and dampwood termites swarm over the summer. Termites will swarm once conditions are ideal, usually the day after a rain shower with overcast weather and winds less than 6 mph. Damp soil after a rainstorm also helps with nest building.
Do Termites Swarm Indoors?
If a colony is already established inside your home, termites may swarm inside. These alates will try to squeeze through cracks and crevices in your foundations and walls to reach open air. Alates are also attracted to light so they can often be found near windows and light fixtures.
What Kind of Termites Swarms Are There?
Termite swarms vary depending on what species it is. Drywood termite swarms are usually smaller than other termites with less than 100 swarmers. They will swarm in late summer and fall. Due to the small size of the swarm, you may not see the signs of drywood termites until they are already established. Dampwood termites swarm in the summer months. They are of less concern to homeowners as houses don’t typically have the moisture content necessary for them to survive. They can, however, be found in wood structures surrounding homes, e.g. utility poles. Subterranean termites are the most common and have the largest swarms, sometimes numbering into the thousands. These termites swarm in the spring between March and June.
While swarms don’t necessarily mean you have a termite infestation in your home, they are a good indicator that there is a thriving colony nearby. If you spot swarming termites in or near your home, consider a termite inspection to help identify signs of termites you may have missed and ensure you don’t have a hidden colony eating your home from the inside out.
If you suspect termites, contact a professional pest control company who can give your house a thorough inspection and help with a termite control and prevention plan going forward.
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It’s a known fact that termites can cause costly and significant damage to your home, but did you know they are active year-round? Winter does bring some daily changes to termite colonies, including moving deeper into the ground for warmth or seeking shelter in your home’s foundation. Both cases are something to be wary of, especially when it comes to the health of your home.
Subterranean termites might seem like they can’t cause damage in the winter when they burrow deep underground, but don’t let that fool you. When termites burrow underground, they tunnel deep beneath your home’s foundation and can cause structural damage, such as causing your home to shift and become uneven, which is costly to repair.
The plus side to termites in the wintertime is that swarms are nearly impossible. Termite swarms may sound like a scene out of a science fiction movie, but they are necessary for the survival of termites. Fortunately, they are not common in the winter, as they tend to move further away from their colonies in the warmer months, making it more difficult to find them. Consider putting preventative measures in place around your home during the winter season before these pests become active again in the spring months, which mark the beginning of swarming season.
There are several ways to prevent termites, even in the wintertime. There are many great services offered to homeowners that can be beneficial year-round. The most effective option in termite prevention is the Sentricon Always Active® system. It is an environmentally responsible choice for home termite protection and is scientifically designed to eliminate the entire colony – including the queen. It’s crucial to prevent termites, whether they’re active or not.
Termites can be extremely difficult to identify, avoid, and eliminate once they are established. If you spot signs of termites in your home or just want to get ahead in the prevention game, contact a professional pest control company who can set you up with annual termite inspections and even a termite control plan.
Owning a home is a huge investment and can take plenty of time and energy to maintain the upkeep. Whether it’s your first home or a home you’ve had for years, discovering that it has termites can be unexpected and devastating. Subterranean termites can cause considerable damage to your home’s infrastructure and the cost of repairing it can be in the thousands of dollars. There are two major reasons termites are attracted to your home.
Subterranean termites are attracted to moisture and need an abundant source of it to survive. Improper drainage around the home can often be the major and most common reason these pests have infested. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool up and cause damage to your foundation, making it vulnerable to termite damage. Leaves, twigs, and other debris that fall into gutters can build up, while the excess moisture can soften your roof and cause it to rot. Try to divert rainwater away from your foundation with a down-spot and splash blocks to help prevent the water from pooling. Consider investing in gutter guards to help keep debris and leaves out of your gutters.
Every homeowner is looking to make their home aesthetically beautiful; but often the materials used throughout your yard for landscaping purposes can attract termites. Mulch is commonly used near and around the home, sometimes lying against the foundation. Unfortunately, this material is a major attractant to termites as it can serve as a food source if it retains moisture. Mulch placed near the foundation can lead to these pests residing right at the edge of your home. Instead of mulch, consider using landscaping rocks, or try to minimize the use of wood mulch and keep it at least 15 inches from the foundation.
If you suspect a termite infestation or would like to get ahead of preventing them, consider contacting your local pest control company where they can provide you with the best termite control options for your home.