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Spring Termite Activity

It has been said that there are two types of homes in Florida:  ones that have had termites and ones that simply haven’t gotten them yet.  These types of pests are attracted to the Florida climate and love the warmth and humidity here.

Types of termites

Florida has four different types of termites – the subterranean termite, the dampwood termite, the drywood termite and the conehead termite.  The conehead termite is only found in some isolated areas of South Florida, but the others can be found throughout the state.  The subterranean termite is the type most often found in a Florida home infestation.

Springtime is swarm time

If you see swarming activity in the spring, it’s the subterranean termite.  What happens is that these pests leave the comfort of their hiding places and go out in search of new places to start a colony.  Swarming termites are easy to kill with almost any purchased pest killer.  Unfortunately, if you see a swarm, this means your house has already been infested and likely has been for awhile.  And simply killing the ones you see does not take care of the bigger issue.

If you have a few bugs in the house and are wondering if it’s a swarm – wonder no longer. It’s not.  Swarming is the sudden appearance of hundreds – even thousands – of winged insects appearing in a room or two of your house.  It’s unmistakable and unforgettable.

If you see only one or two bugs, it’s possible that these are flying ants; however it’s still a good idea to identify them for sure so you can take appropriate action.

Signs of Infestation

One local homeowner stated that the first sign of infestation was the swarming activity.  Up until that point, she had noticed no other signs.  This is not unusual.  When a termite colony sets up in your home, they are usually pretty well hidden within the structure or under the ground.

However, this is also the time to start looking for some of the hidden signs of a termite infestation.  These can include:

* The existence of pencil sized mud tubes around the outside perimeter of the house. If you scrape away a section of the tube and the colony is active, it will be rebuilt within a day or two.

* Piles of discarded wings found throughout the house, but especially near wooden doors or windows.

* Small wood shavings found on wood window ledges or around door frames

* Signs of damaged wood in the house. This could be hollow-sounding wood, issues with wooden doors and windows, floor damage, cracks in the walls or the ceilings.

23 Feb

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