Termites in Florida: The Complete Guide to Identification and Control

Worried about termites in Florida? These pests can cause major damage inside and outside your house. If you discover active termites in Florida, you may be unsure of what steps to take and how to eliminate them.

The professionals at On Demand Pest Control specialize in handling termites and the problems they cause. In this article, we will provide an overview of the common types of termites found in Florida. We will include resources to other pages that offer in-depth information on how to eliminate them and address various termite-related issues.

Termites are tiny bugs, about 3 to 4 mm in size. They can cause a lot of harm to homeowners, especially with damaged wood. Sadly, these troublesome pests can often be found in houses across Florida. They are usually only visible when the infested wood they’ve occupied in your home is cracked open.

Different Castes Of Termites

In a termite colony, there are distinct groups of individuals known as “castes,” each with a specific role and function. The caste system ensures the efficient organization and operation of the colony. The three primary castes in a termite colony are workers, soldiers, and swarmers or alates.

Worker Termites: Worker termites form the largest group within a colony and are responsible for the majority of the tasks. These tasks include foraging for food, feeding other colony members, and maintaining the nest. Workers are typically light-colored, soft-bodied, and lack wings. They can be found in infested wood or soil, as they constantly search for cellulose-rich materials to consume.

Soldier Termites: Soldier termites are the defenders of the colony. They have large heads and strong, powerful jaws, which they use to protect the nest from potential threats, such as ants or other predatory insects. Soldiers are usually larger than workers and have darker-colored heads. Their primary responsibility is to guard the colony and maintain its safety.

Swarmer Termites (Alates): Swarmers, also known as alates or reproductive termites, are responsible for the propagation of the colony. These termites have wings and a darker, more robust body compared to workers and soldiers. Swarmers leave the nest to mate and establish new colonies, ensuring the survival and expansion of their species. After finding a suitable location and a mate, the swarmers shed their wings and begin to form a new colony as the king and queen.

What are the Termite Types Found in Florida?

Florida has hot and humid weather. This weather is great for different termite species. In Florida, you can find drywood, dampwood, and subterranean termites. These termite species are all found in the state.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termite infestations are the most widespread kind of termites in Florida. Sadly, they also cause the worst damage to homes.

Termites reside in groups consisting of workers, soldiers, and alates, often called swarmers.

Swarmers with full wings and eyes take flight to find new places and begin their own colonies.

Subterranean termites build homes in the dirt and wet wood touching the ground. They construct mud tubes, which are clay tunnels from the earth into the wooden parts.

Subterranean termites in Florida show no mercy and can ruin nearly everything they encounter. They consume various materials with cellulose, such as decaying wood, paper, cotton, and plant fibers.

The widely found underground termites in North America belong to the Reticulitermes group. Even though they are not the most dangerous termites, they can still cause a lot of harm. If you see them, you should take it seriously.

Beware of the Formosan Subterranean Termite

The Formosan termite is the most damaging subterranean termite. They create large colonies and are highly aggressive. They can rapidly destroy the wood in your house.

This termite is known as the “Super Termite” due to its extremely damaging actions.

Drywood Termites

A different type of termite found in Florida is the drywood termite. Unlike subterranean termites, they live in groups and don’t build nests in the soil.

Drywood termites thrive in wooden buildings. These creatures are larger than subterranean termites and have a more cylindrical shape.

In Florida, the West Indian drywood termite is one of the common types of drywood termites found.

Dampwood termites

In Florida, you’ll encounter a variety of termites, including the dampwood termite, where they live in damp and moist environments. The prevalent type you may see are those belonging to the neus Noetermes group.

Dampwood termites, which are attracted to damp wood, thrive in moist environments. They can often be found in southern Florida, particularly the Keys. These termites usually infest wood that is touching soil or continuously exposed to water, like leaks or standing water sources.

Dampwood termites are notably sizable. They outsize both drywood and subterranean termite species.

Do You Have A Termite Infestation?

We talked about common termites in Florida. Now, let’s talk about signs of an infestation. One sign is finding termite droppings.

Having termites in your home is a serious issue. Ignoring the problem won’t help. Termite damage can cause expensive harm to your house.

A single termite may consume only a small amount of wood each day. When considering the size of a colony, which can range from thousands to millions of termites, the damage adds up quickly. 

In fact, termites are estimated to cause around $5 billion in property damage annually in the United States alone. A large, well-established termite colony can consume up to a pound of wood per day, causing significant structural damage to homes and buildings over time. The issue is that termites can remain unnoticed for an extended period.

Termites have the potential to damage your house without your knowledge. But don’t worry, there are some clues to help you spot the problem early. Visit our blog post about “Spotting Drywood Termite Invasions” to learn more!

Get Serious About Getting Rid of Termites

Eliminating termites may seem challenging. Large colonies can make it seem nearly unachievable to remove them completely.

Great news! On Demand Pest Control’s professionals can help you get rid of termites in your house. We have lots of experience in removing all types of termites.

Once you’re prepared, contact us to talk about termite elimination. This can protect your home’s structure and possibly save you thousands in damages.

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