In Florida, when we think of termites, we think of subterranean termites for the most part. Subs come from the ground and find their way into a home via a small opening near plumbing or a crack in the foundation. From there they eat you home from the ground up.
Treatment for subs normally includes drilling holes along the foundation and treating the bottom of the structure. But for most people, when asked about termites, the sight of a tent around the building immediately comes to mind. While this is the most visible sign of a house with termites, this is generally for Drywood Termites, which are a less severe problem the further north you go.
Drywood termites fly in from above and typically strike in the attic of a home. They get in trough the eaves and vents in the attic and often go undetected for quite some time. After all, how often do people really go into the attic?
Drywod termites are prevelant in South Florida, but can occur as far north as Georgia. So while subs may be the first priority in Northern Florida, to ignore Drywoods could be a costly mistake. Once in your home, the only treatment is to fumigate. This is known as a “Tent Job” and is quite expensive.
A sign you have a Drywood infestation is if you see a small mound of fecal pellets that resemble a small pile of sawdust. Drywoods kick these fecal pellets out of their nests creating a small mound of these. If you see these on a floor or windowsill you can do an inspection yourself.
Take a large screwdriver and tap the wood around where the pellets are found. If there is extensive damage due to a large colony, signaling a widespread infestation, the wood will have been severely hollowed in several places. If this is the case, then consult a professional.
However, if the wood is still in tact for the most part, then it is possible that a Boric Acid treatment will prevent further damage. Boric acid can be bought at any home improvement store. Mix with water and use as a spray to apply.
In fact, a pest control company will use Boric acid as a preventative method for Drywood termites. It is harmless to pets and humans but is a poison to bugs. If you live in the south, this is a great idea to call a professional to treat your home to prevent a termite infestation.