As a Florida resident, you know what it’s like to be on guard against termites. Here in the Sunshine State, there isn’t just one termite season. Different species of termites often invade at different times of the year, to a point where you may be able to spot their presence all year round.
Drywood and subterranean termites are the two most common species of termites that plague homeowners in Florida. They are also most active and likely to swarm during the spring, which begins this month. We’ll help you know how to spot them, what to do if your home has termites, and what you can do to keep them from coming back any time of year.
Your spring season termite checklist
Spring is a time of renewal – the grass grows again, as do the weeds. Deep green colors return to the trees. And termites start getting busy. When spring rolls around, the subterranean termites start to swarm.
To know whether you have termites, it helps to know where to look and what you’re looking for. Here are a few tips, along with advice for treating and preventing infestations.
Signs. Look for termites in areas that are protected by the wind and low light. Swarms often leave behind wings, which you’ll find near doorways and on window sills. Other signs to look for:
- Mud tubes around the foundation of your home. Subterranean termites will use these as access points into your home.
- Wood damage near the base of the house. Look for grooves running through the grain of the wood.
- Pellets. These small droppings are about 1-2 cm long and have six sides. They usually look like a small pile of sawdust or coffee grounds.
Treatment. Because the swarms are actively trying to reproduce and grow the colonies, you need to quickly get ahead of the issue and contact your pest control service as soon as you see activity. If subterranean termites are the invaders, a termiticide must be professionally applied under and around your home.
Prevention. Fill in any cracks in your home’s foundation or the exterior walls. These include the small gaps that surround the pipes that enter your home. Other steps you can take:
- Remove standing water. Standing water is a breeding ground for termites, which thrive in wet environments. Keep your gutters and downspouts clean and clear to ensure water is draining away from your home.
- Remove food sources from around your home. These sources include mulch, stacks of wood, and tree stumps.
- Treat the soil around your home with a termiticide. A professional treatment that’s applied every few years will be an effective barrier against invasion.
Termite control: your summer season checklist
Termites are the most active during warmer weather, which makes summer in Florida a hotbed of activity for these destructive pests. Subterranean termites continue to swarm, but the spotlight is now on drywood termites.
Signs: The dark subterranean termites and tropical rough-headed drywood termites swarm through June and July, so keep looking for discarded wings. To spot the drywood termites, look for damage to the wood legs of your furniture, as well as to baseboards and your attic rafters.
Treatment: With most drywood termite infestations, tent fumigation is the most common and successful process.
Prevention: Continue to take all the steps you did during the spring, such as sealing cracks and other openings that lead into your home. Because the rains pick up in the summer you should also:
- Keep the ground around your home as dry as you can. Install a drainage system if you see flooding after it rains. This is especially important in the summer because that’s when we get the heavy afternoon thundershowers.
- Call your pest control service. Not sure if you have a termite problem? Play it safe and schedule an inspection to look for signs of termite activity.
Termite control: your fall season checklist
The weather cools down just a bit as we head into fall. But the season of pumpkin-spice everything and copper-colored sweaters is also prime time for some species of drywood and subterranean termites to swarm.
Signs: You’re more likely to see evidence of the subterranean termite swarms during the late morning. As always, check for their wings.
Treatment. If you do have an invasion, the right treatment depends on how widespread it is. We’ll choose the right treatment option to eliminate all termites.
Prevention: After months of severe summer heat and storms, inspect your home again for cracks and other openings that invite termites. Be sure to also:
- Check your home for signs of termites so you can catch the problem early. Pay particular attention to any mud tubes along your foundation.
- Remove branches from your yard. Summer storms and hurricanes will scatter tree limbs across your property. Remove them immediately, especially if they’re against your house.
Winter: your termite control checklist
As long-time Florida residents and newcomers know, the fall, winter, and spring seasons all tend to blur together. But we do endure a cold snap here and there when the temps can get into the upper 30s. This, for Florida, is considered frigid. But it doesn’t mean termites are hibernating. They may slow down their activity, but make no mistake – they are still active.
Signs: Because termites are active all year, you still have to look for obvious indications of their presence. These include droppings, blistered wood, bubbling paint, and small holes in your drywall.
Treatment. Your treatment options don’t change because of the season. Even if termites have gone deeper underground and are less active, you still need to address any infestation before it gets much worse in the spring.
Prevention: Maintain the same process you followed earlier in the year. It’s easier to keep your home dry in the winter, so you can focus now on clearing leaves and sticks from your gutters. This will help prepare you for the spring and summer rains.
You shouldn’t worry about whether you have a growing termite problem or who to call if you do. An expert pest control service like ours will save you a LOT of distress while keeping your family and home safe.
Call JD Smith Pest Control for a termite-free home all year round
The proper method of termite control depends on how wide-ranging the infestation is and the type of termite species.
You can depend on our pest control services to eliminate the termites that threaten your home. When you need help with getting rid of termites, call JD Smith Pest Control. We’ll assess your situation for free, let you know whether you need treatment, and give our expert recommendations for your best options.