In Hollywood, Florida, there may be threats to your home that you are unaware of. The threat comes from termites and often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. Keep reading to learn more about how to get rid of termites in your home.
South Florida appears to be ground zero for the spread of termites in homes. Since they rarely bite, they are not a major danger to people or animals. Instead, they pose a danger to residential properties all over the region.
Wood is the preferred food of termites. Termites can be a major issue for homeowners and business owners alike, despite the fact that damaged wood may seem minor at first.
In the United States, termites attribute about $5 billion in annual damages. Eighty percent of the damage caused by termites comes from subterranean species. Some species of termite can consume 3 pounds of wood per day.
What can you do to prevent such a threat from destroying your home? What methods do you use to eliminate a termite colony?
The first step in eliminating a termite problem is spotting the telltale signs of an infestation. Second, you should get rid of the termites. The third stage, preventing their return, will be an ongoing one. Homeowners in Hollywood, Florida, can take action right now to ensure their properties’ safety.
Read on to learn about the different methods for preventing termites and treating them if you find any in your home.
Signs Of Termite Infestation
Termites favor wooden and paper materials. Since they feed on wood, an infestation poses a serious threat to the integrity of your home’s structure. Any structure made of wood is in jeopardy. If you see even one of these, termites have already invaded your home.
Symptoms of infestation include:
- Spaces or cracks in the wood that make up your home.
- Digging mud tunnels next to your house’s foundation.
- Stale, musty smells.
- Tiny pieces of wood lying around the house.
- The presence of swarms, either inside or outside the home.
- The Fallout (frass).
- Wings, though small, can be seen hanging near the entrances and exits.
Where Do Termites Hide?
Basically, if there is wood, there will be termites. A large percentage of their dwellings are made of wood. Subterranean termites can be found in a number of places around the home, including but not limited to the attic.
- Baseboards Marks
- Door Trim and Smells
- Hardwood Floors
- Furniture Made Of Wood
- Wood Studs Within Walls
Look for mud tunnels and other signs of termites in home in these spots.
A bright source of light can be used to lure away a swarm of insects. It’s common to see them in close proximity to windows and other sources of illumination.
When Do Termites Swarm?
In Florida, termites tend to swarm all year long. Spring and summer are their busiest seasons. Swarms of termites are an all too common occurrence in Florida, which has more termite species than any other state. If you keep a close eye out for termites in home, you can stop them before they do any real damage.
What Do Termites Look Like?
- Termites have broad, round bellies that are as wide as the rest of their bodies. Unlike ants, which have bent antennae, termites’ are perfectly straight.
- They range in size from about 1/8 inch to about 3/8 inch in length. In most colonies, there are three social classes:
- Known as “swarmers,” these pests fly through the airways in search of a mate and a place to start a new colony. They’re small, dark, and anywhere from a quarter to a third of an inch in length.
- The colony’s defenders, a militarized force, wear a muted yellow uniform. They measure at roughly a sixteenth of an inch in length.
- The majority of a colony is made up of workers, which are a creamy color and about 1/8 of an inch in length.
3 Common Types Of Termites
Multiple species of termites exist. Identifying characteristics and indicators are unique to each.
Termites that live underground typically invade buildings through foundation cracks. Soil is essential for the insects’ survival. They coat themselves in mud to keep themselves from drying out. Consequently, they create mud tubes as they travel from one food source to another. Their abandoned wings and mud tubes are other telltale signs of their presence. Cracks in the foundation or pipes provide easy access for subterranean termites.
Termite colonies in the ground can house as many as a million individuals. They can cause significant damage even to newer homes made of concrete blocks. They are more effective than their drywood counterparts in causing damage quickly.
Drywood termites make their home in the wood they consume. Frass, or feces, are often used as a means of identification. Dry wood is digested and the frass is expelled away from the animal. The smallest pieces of frass are smaller than rice. It accumulates in heaps on floors, window sills, and behind couches. When drywood termites invade a home, it’s usually because a piece of infested furniture was brought inside.
A drywood termite colony can take up to five years to reach maturity. Termites with wings may appear after this time. Their presence indicates that they have been wreaking unnoticed structural damage to your home for at least three years, hidden within the wood.
Though they are the largest of the termite species, dampwood termites cause the least damage to homes because they spend most of their time outside in damp or rotten wood. Homes are typically made out of tree trunks, fence posts, or logs. However, they can still cause damage to your home if they get into any exposed, wet wood.
Getting Rid Of Termites
The discovery of termite damage could feel catastrophic, but it’s actually not. The termites need to be exterminated immediately. Getting in touch with a pest control service, such as On Demand Pest Control, to help you eliminate an infestation as soon as possible can give you back the upper hand.
Pest control services may use any one of several methods, including:
- With bait treatments, poison stations are placed in the soil around an infested building. The termites consume the poison and return it to their nests. The infestation can then be eliminated using termite baits. When it comes to environmental impact, a baiting system is one of the more benign treatment options.
- Chemical treatments: this method entails poisoning the soil around a home’s foundation to eradicate any existing termite colonies and discourage any further swarms.
- In a process known as fumigation, or “tenting,” toxic gases are pumped into the tent, killing any and all life inside (especially termites). Fumigation is a costly method of controlling termites, but it does not prevent new infestations from occurring.
- Heat tenting is a green alternative to traditional heating methods like fuel injection or chemical spraying. Instead, the tent will reach a temperature of 120 degrees, which will be enough to kill any termites in the wood.
Termite infestations can be avoided if you take the time to identify the insects early on. Indeed, it represents the very first means of effective termite management. Maintaining a regular schedule of property inspections can be crucial. Termites can be found anywhere, so it’s important to look in places like light fixtures, attics, and crawl spaces.
Controlling and preventing termites as soon as possible after an infestation has been discovered is essential to minimizing further damage to your home, particularly if it has recently been treated. Both DIY and professional pest control services focus on prevention.
- Limiting people’s ability to get food: If termites can’t find any food on your property, they may not bother staying there. Clean up the area around your house by removing any plants or trees that have died.
- Cut off access: Limiting termite access to your home can be accomplished by sealing potential entry points. Seal all cracks and crevices, paying special attention to those near plumbing. Wooden slats that touch the ground around your house should also be removed.
- Termites can’t survive without a constant supply of moisture, so getting rid of that is the first step. You can help stop them by eliminating their water supply. Insects and rodents are attracted to standing water and leaks.
- Reduce your outdoor lighting because it serves as an attractant for termites and other pests. Whether you’re worried about large or small intruders, yellow or purple lights can help.
Get Help from On Demand Pest Control
On Demand Pest Control is a locally owned and operated company in South Florida and provides pest control and prevention solutions for both residential and commercial properties in the area. Our Florida certified expert technicians provide safe and effective termite treatments and prevention throughout Southeast and Southwest Florida.