Subterranean termites cause extensive – and expensive – damage to homes in Florida. Yours doesn’t have to be one of them. On this resource page, you’ll learn some basic facts about subterranean termites, along with the warning signs that they may be in your home. We’ll explain how to keep them out of your house, and what you can do if you find they’re already there.
What Are Subterranean Termites
Along with drywood termites, subterranean termites are among the most common types we have in Florida. There are some important distinctions between the two, and knowing them can help you and your pest control team take action. You can learn more about the differences between subterranean and drywood termites, but here are the major ones to look for:
- Live in the ground and can be very difficult to find
- Colonies can grow into the hundreds of thousands
- Cause a large amount of damage in a short period of time
- Can be treated with a termiticide applied to the soil and under the house
- Live inside wood, including baseboards, furniture, and attic rafters
- Colonies usually number in the hundreds, sometimes in the thousands
- Can take them years to cause significant structural damage
- Tent fumigation is typically the best way to eliminate them
Subterranean termites reach the wood in your home by creating mud tubes that lead to your foundation. These channels offer them easy access to the food they need, and give them a secure path back to their nest.
Swarms of termites indicate you have an infestation. Subterranean termites typically swarm during the winter and early spring months. However, there are several subterranean species, some of which swarm at other times of the year, including the summer and fall.
Swarming termites have left their colonies to mate and start new colonies. Clusters of termites are signs of a swarm. Another tell-tale sign: discarded wings near your interior windowsills and doors.
Preventing Subterranean Termites
The average home suffers nearly $8,000 in damage before the responsible termites are detected. This is why we always say the best way to stop termite damage is to prevent it in the first place.
Because subterranean termites live in the ground, one of the best steps you can take to protect your home is by treating its foundation. If you are building a new home, this would include treating the soil with a termiticide before pouring the slab. Other steps in this process include spraying the perimeter of the home, treating the wood studs, and applying termiticide to the network of plumbing and electrical connections.
Most likely, you already have a home and want to protect it. You can take green preventative measures by removing termite food sources from near your home, including mulch and tree stumps. Also, never lean or stack wood against the side of your house.
Treating the soil around your home is another effective way to keep termites from establishing themselves. This step will need to be repeated every few years to be effective, but you may find it’s worth the peace of mind. If you’d like an alternative to saturating the ground, you can work with your pest management service on installing bait stations around your property. Learn more about why pretreatment works.
JD Smith Pest Control has a preventative treatment that will protect your property for up to 10 or more years from subterranean termites. Taking these precautionary measures will save you time, stress, and money compared to dealing with an existing infestation.
Treatments for Termite Infestations
When you think of termites, you probably think of tent fumigation as the all-purpose way to eliminate them from a house. However, subterranean termites are underground dwellers, so fumigation will not reach their tunnels and nest.
Don’t worry; as you’ve seen above, there are many treatments available that properly contain and remove the unwanted guests. A knowledgeable and experienced pest control company will be able to develop the best control method for your unique case. You will not need to relocate during treatment.
One external-only method of handling subterranean termites is with our perimeter soil treatment. A tiny 6” trench will be outlined around the complete structure of your home. The trench is filled with chemicals, then the chemicals are covered over with soil. This treatment deters termites from being able to build tunnels from the soil into your home.
Tentless wood treatments are also a viable option in combating subterranean termite issues. This method includes a wood treatment injected into susceptible areas of your home to deter and prevent these pests. Common areas for this treatment often include the walls around doors and window frames, along with exposed wood. The good news about this treatment, beyond its ability to get rid of these tiny pests, is that it does not require relocation, meaning you can stay in your home the entire time.
One more note on subterranean termites: Just because you don’t see them, it doesn’t mean you don’t have an infestation. Subterranean termites can be difficult to find, but there are some warning signs to look for, including mud tubes around your foundation and damaged wood at the base of your home.
We’ll Design the Perfect Termite Treatment Plan for You
Whether you want to get ahead of a potential problem and prevent subterranean termites, or you worry you might have some unwanted pests already in your home or business, call JD Smith Pest Control today to set up a free evaluation. We will develop a comprehensive plan to eliminate your pest issues and prevent future ones from developing. JD Smith has been in business in the West-Central Florida area for 50 years and we have extensive experience dealing with any pest issues you may encounter.