What are termites?
A termite is an insect with the sole job of breaking down pieces of wood and other plant materials and converting cellulose into a usable food source. Termites are pests that are helpful when living outside in nature, ridding the ground of organic debris and returning its nutrients back to the soil, aiding in new plant or tree growth. Yet, when termites invade our yards or, worse yet, our homes, their feeding habits cause a lot of costly damage to our structures. Every year termites collectively generate more than five billion dollars in damages across the country!
There are many different species of termites, each with its own unique feeding and nesting habits. In our area, the two species of termites we run into regularly are the subterranean termite and drywood termite. Subterranean termites build their nests deep within the ground, and they prefer to feed on decaying or water-damaged wood. They do not live inside the wood they are feeding on. Drywood termites prefer to feed on dry wood and nest within the wooden structure they are feeding on.
Are termites dangerous?
The best word to describe termites is destructive. They aren't dangerous to people's health, though the knowledge of their presence can be stressful for homeowners! Termites are pests that move into structures without notice and have the unique ability to work "silently" for months or even years without anyone noticing. Generally, homeowners only notice a termite infestation after seeing the evidence of the damage the termites are causing. Some signs of a termites infestation include:
- Windows and doors that no longer open or close properly.
- Sagging ceilings.
- Clicking noises behind walls.
- Floors that feel spongy when you walk over them.
- Peeling or blistering paint.
- Witnessing a termite swarm (winged termites that have left the nest to find a mate).
Why do I have a termite problem?
Termites live on your property because it provides them with appropriate food sources and a place to build their nest.
Subterranean termites have high moisture needs, and the humid weather and plentiful rainfall in our region provide them with a lot of damp soil to nest within. Things like clogged gutters, poor drainage, and low-lying areas allow water to pool and attract subterranean termite activity. These termites usually enter into structures at or below ground level through spaces in the foundation or wood touching the ground attached to a structure.
Drywood termites typically become a problem after getting into a home already inside wood such as structural beams, flooring, antiques, or wood furniture. These termites will also move directly into a home from the exterior through spaces they find in the exterior; attic vents, door frames, and roof eaves are common entry points.
Where will I find termites?
Drywood termites and subterranean termites feed on wood in our yards and homes; however, their wood preferences do vary.
Subterranean termites feed on decaying wood like tree stumps, logs, mulch, and fallen trees. Inside, any structural wood damaged by water found behind walls, under floors, near the roofline, and around windows and doors is a common target for these termites.
Drywood termites have much lower moisture needs. They nest and feed on wood located above the ground. In our Florida yards, you'll often find them inside dry pieces of lumber, utility poles, wooden play structures, and fences. Inside, wooden floors, trim, furniture, and antiques are often invaded and damaged by drywood termites.
How do I get rid of termites?
Termites and their highly destructive feeding habits should never be allowed to call our Florida yards or houses home. Termites are a year-round threat in the Lake Worth area and so partnering with an experienced and local professional is essential to protecting your most significant investment from termites!
At Above and Beyond Pest Control, we are excited to be leaders in the pest control industry. We are always committed to protecting people and their property from the destruction termites living in Florida can cause to our property and our bank accounts through accurate inspections and advanced, targeted treatments. Our pest control solutions are effective in addition to being safe for both people and the environment. Give us a call today to learn more about our effective termite control solutions in the Lake Worth area!
How can I prevent termites in the future?
Don't let termites move in and out of your Florida home as they please; put into place the following prevention tips to make your property unappealing to termites.
- Make sure gutters and drains are moving water away from your home.
- Make necessary repairs to your home to help keep termites and the water that attracts them out of your house like repairing damaged roof shingles, siding, trim, and foundations.
- Make immediate repairs to leaky pipes or fixtures.
- Keep gutters free of debris to make sure rainwater can flow easily through them.
- Create a stone barrier between any mulch or soil and your foundation.
- Cut back vegetation to help keep the soil surrounding your home as dry as possible.
- Immediately replace any wood that is rotting or otherwise water-damaged on or in your home.
- Always inspect wood or wooden structures that you are bringing into your house for signs of termites.
- Use dehumidifiers to reduce excess moisture in your home.
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