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.
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.
It’s Termite Awareness Week, and termites are a known threat to southern homeowners. Termites can cause more than 5 million dollars in property damage throughout the United States, and it is normal for this damage not to be covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. Before the damage gets out of control, look for termite signs and consider getting a preventative termite treatment and warranty from professional help.
One of the first signs that termites are near is if you encounter swarmers near your home. Although swarmers do not cause wood damage, they do indicate that a colony is nearby. If you notice swarmers, it’s best to take immediate action and have a local termite control company take a look.
Another tell-tale sign that termites are close by is the presence of mud tubes or tunnels along the foundation of your home. Termites use mud tubes to keep moisture when traveling to and from their colony and your home.
Some other signs of termites that you may notice are:
- Hollowed or damaged wood: Wood damage can be found behind surfaces like walls and floors. This is caused by termites searching for cellulose, which can leave long grooves in the wood. Over time, these grooves weaken the wood and can create structural damage. If wood is hollowed, it will show a honeycomb interior and give off an empty sound.
- Bubbles in paint: Discovering bubbles in paint means there is a buildup of moisture, which can either be from water damage or termite damage.
- Frass: Finding the appearance of wood-colored droppings that litter the ground is a sign of a drywood termite infestation.
Even if you do not find signs of termites, now is still the perfect time to get preventative termite protection! With the Sentricon Always Active bait system, you’ll experience 24/7 termite protection, annual inspections, a lifetime termite warranty, and more! Reach out to your local pest control company to help identify the type of termite and recommendations on the best treatment plan.
With the warmer months creeping up on us, it’s time to start preparing for the termite swarming season. Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year and infestations are normally not found until considerable damage has already been done. It’s important to know what types of termites are active in your area to understand ways to prevent them from causing damage to your home.
The most common type of termite in the southeast is the subterranean termite. This termite species lives in underground colonies with as many as two million members but can also be found in moist, secluded areas above ground. They are the most destructive termite species and, over time, can potentially collapse a building. This is due to their hard, saw-toothed jaws that work like shears and can bite off extremely small fragments of wood, one piece at a time. They typically begin their swarming season in early spring, usually during daylight hours.
Swarming is beneficial when creating new colonies. Termites swarm after a colony has reached a certain capacity and is ready to expand. This normally happens once per year for most colonies. Hundreds or even thousands of swarmers, also known as alates, are produced with the sole purpose of reproduction and expansion.
Swarming can occur indoors or outdoors. They cannot survive indoors because of the lack of soil to colonize. If found indoors, they are usually found near windows and light fixtures as they are attracted to light. Whether indoors or outdoors, they usually can’t cause damage. As swarmers, they can’t bite, sting, or chew. The presence of swarms indicates that a colony is nearby, though; so although the swarmers can’t cause damage, the nearby colony can.
There are many ways to prevent swarming from happening. The first step is to eliminate any termite colonies in the area. To prevent termites, make sure there are no water sources nearby, including standing water around your home. Also, routinely inspect your foundation for loose mortar or bubbling paint to see if there are termites present.
Because a termite swarm indicates a nearby colony, homeowners should take precaution when one is spotted close to home. If you suspect you have a termite infestation, contact a professional local pest control company who can inspect your property and set up a termite control plan.
The first step in termite prevention is to be ready for them. One of the most important things you can do is learn the signs of termites in order to catch them early. Termites can often go undetected for long periods of time, causing significant damage before you are alerted to their presence. The most common types of termites include subterranean termites, drywood termites, and Formosan termites. The type of termite and the location of the infestation help determine the best type of termite treatment to use. Here are four of the most common termite treatments utilized by termite control professionals.
Pretreatments are termite treatments that are performed during the building phase of new construction. It is also preferable to utilize pretreatments when constructing additions on an existing home, as well. Pretreatments are more effective and affordable when utilized before the physical infrastructure of a home or addition is laid. Pretreatments involve a combination of liquid termiticide (commonly containing borates), termite bait, lumber treatment, and in soil barriers.
Barrier treatments form a literal barrier in the ground between termites and your home. A trench is dug around the perimeter of your home and the soil that is removed is treated heavily with a termiticide. The trench is then refilled with the treated soil. In some cases, a physical wall is also constructed inside the outer wall of the trench made up of rock, sand, mesh, and plastic. This adds an additional layer of protection between your home and termites.
Liquid treatments are the most common termite treatments utilized. These treatments are effective for termite infestations on the interior of your home. In these treatments, holes are drilled strategically in both the foundation and the wood. Termiticide is then injected into the holes which forces the termites to emerge. The termites are then exterminated by spot treatments with termiticides.
In these treatments, bait stations containing wood, paper, or cellulose that is laced with termiticide are placed in the ground around your home. Termites are attracted to the bait and eat it. The termiticide is slow acting which allows the termites to return to the colony and spread the bait to others, killing off the entire colony. Bait stations can be used in locations where surface treatments can’t, such as near foundation drains and areas that are covered by slabs or flooring. Bait stations are an effective and long-term treatment solution.
Termites can get out of control quickly and be incredibly difficult to eradicate. If you suspect you have a termite problem, contact your local pest control company for a termite inspection to identify the type of termite and recommend the best course of treatment.
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