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Controlling Termites from the Outside

Most people in Central Florida first notice termites in their house when they see the swarm.  You either see the termites flying around the house as they leave the current colony in order to start a new one or you will see dead termites lying on the ground or window sills.  These were the ones who were trying to find the exit and simply couldn’t get out fast enough.  After a swarm, frantic homeowners will call for an emergency pest treatment from their pest control company.  Pest control companies will treat the house with baits and insecticides, but it’s extremely important to also have your lawn and garden checked out.

Subterranean termites are those that build their colonies underground.  They build great big tunnels several feet below the surface and are often only noticed when the homeowner sees what’s called a shelter tube. This is a mud tunnel that the termites build up through cracks in the foundation.  These termites enter the wooden structures on your property by attacking it from under the ground.

Most yards in Florida have subterranean termites and just because there are termites underground in your back yard does not mean you have to panic. Whether or not these termites will become a threat to the house and other structures on your property depends upon how large the termite colony is, whether the external perimeter of your house is protected and multiple other factors, some of which are not known.

A professional can determine if you the existing termites are a threat and whether or not you need immediate treatment.  Should it be determined that the termites in your yard are a threat to your house, they may treat your yard in several different ways:  by placing baits strategically in your yard, injecting insecticides around the edges of the foundation, or treating the perimeter of your yard in order to keep termites from entering.

They will also check out existing trees and bushes for dead and decaying spots.  In addition, if you have dead tree stumps on your property, you will be advised to get rid of them as soon as possible.  Dead and dying trees, bushes and stumps are very tempting snacks for hungry termites.  You may also be advised to use anything but mulch in your decorative yard spaces.  Termites perceive mulch as food.  In fact, anything you can do to keep tempting wood snacks away from the house is a good thing.

The bottom line is that subterranean termites do exist and probably exist in your yard.  Whether or not it’s time to get your yard treated is best left to a professional with the right tools, skills and experience.  In the meantime, take some preventative measures and keep the bushes and trees in your yard well maintained.

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