Termites in Florida
Termites in the United States cause over 5 billion dollars in damage annually. In fact, termites cause more damage than hurricanes and all natural disasters combined and home insurance does not cover the damages. Approximately 75 percent of this damage is caused in Florida. Unless you have been a victim of an active termite infestation, most people only know what they have heard. Some of that information is accurate and some pure fiction. Hopefully these facts will give you a better understanding of termite behavior and how to protect your home. Most people are not aware of the fact that there are 3 types of termites that can be a threat to their home. Subterranean (below ground), Formosan (the most destructive), and Drywood (above ground) termites. Termites are social insects, living in a colony that have a Queen, workers, and soldiers. The Queens’s only job is to produce eggs. The workers eat untreated wood and cause substantial damage to your home. They consume wood and digest it to in order to feed the soldiers and the Queen. The soldiers have mandables (pinchers) on their heads to defend the colony against invaders like ants. In most cases termites are doing damage to your home for 3-7 years before there is any evidence of their presence. Remember, termites have survived for thousands of years by staying hidden and eating wood from the inside out. The worker termites are primarily made of protein and water and have no defense against predators except to stay hidden. Workers cannot see and only find food by randomly foraging and following temperature changes that lead to moisture and untreated wood. Most customers become of their infestation when termite colonies become too large produce swarming (flying) reproductive termites which leave wings and insect bodies around windows and light fixtures. Renovations will often reveal termites actively feeding on homes behind drywall, showers, and other coverings.
Subterranean termites need moisture to survive. Their colonies are below ground and are everywhere. These termites constantly forage for moisture and food sources to feed their Queen and soldiers. Worker termites use soil and saliva to create “mud tubes” that allow them to travel protected though out the wall of your home while they feed. It is estimated that there are 2-15 colonies per acre which contain 10,000- 1 million termites per colony. For this reason your homes showers, bathtubs, air conditioning, leaks, and any wall covering or wood below ground level are the most common places for damage to start. Remember, termites are tasked with eating decomposed (not alive) wood to recycle it. When your home is built, all of the food sources are cleared leaving only the termites and your home. In the last 20-30 years it has been mandated in Florida that the soil below your home was treated for subterranean termites when it was built. There are no guidelines on which products are used or require them to offer effective long term control. Most treatments are repellant insecticide barriers with no colony control. As soon as the insecticide is gone the termites are free to enter your home through plumbing penetrations, crack in the foundation, veneer exterior coverings (brick/ stucco/ siding) ect. Colony control is the only way to prevent termites from damaging your home.
Hero Pest Control LLC offers long term protection from Subterranean termites by creating a treatment zone with non- repellant termiticide that will eliminate entire termite colonies within 90 days of treatment. These products are odorless and can last up to 10 years. There is no way to treat under your home post construction which is why we offer a treatment warranty. If termites come back, we come back and treat at no charge to you!
Subterranean termite damage behind brick
Concrete construction has many access points for ground termites to enter
Subterranean termite tubes on a bath tub
Subterranean termite workers
Termite damage behind stone veneer
Termite mud tubes on a ceiling
These Termites are found in Florida, the Gulf coast, Hawaii, and California. Unlike Subterranean Termites, Drywood Termites do not need moisture to survive. These Termites live in above ground sources like tree limbs, stumps, firewood, furniture, and attics. They typically spread by flying from one infestation site to another. Drywood Termites mate after swarming and crawl into a wood source where they create a new infestation. As the termites eat the wood they create galleries (damage). As they feed they excrete pellets (fecal matter), which they push into the old damaged areas. Once they galleries are filled the termites make a hole and push out the pellets making room for more. Basically, the termites are cleaning out their septic tank. These infestations are often found when the termites pellets found below windows, doors, or anywhere there is an infestation. After years of these termites feeding on your home they will produce more swarming termites and fly out to create new colonies. Most people have seen a tent on a home or other structure.
Drywood termite swarmed near a window
Treatment for Drywood Termites
Our goal is to prevent Drywood infestations by doing a “no tent” preventive treatment on the accessible exposed wood in your home. Exposed wood is treated so that termites that do gain access from the outside cannot eat the treated areas. Again, If termites come back so do we at no additional charge. Even some small isolated infestations can be treated with our “no tent”
Drywood Termite Damage
How to Get Rid of Termites
Following an inspection of all entry points and areas that are conducive to termite infestations Hero Pest Control LLC will create a treatment to fit your needs. This inspection will also include a written estimate and we will be glad to answer any questions you and your family may have.
Quick Tips for Preventing a Termite Infestation:
- Address excess humidity problems in crawl space areas
- Do not store firewood and other wood products near the foundation of your home
- Contact Hero Pest Control LLC immediately if you suspect termite activity
- Avoid letting moisture accumulate near the foundation of your property
- Fix any roof or plumbing leaks immediately
- Termites have a history dating back 250 million years
- According to the National Pest Management Association, over 5 billion dollars in damages are attributed to termite infestation in the U.S alone, each year
- Colony queens can live up to 25 years and are capable of laying an egg every 15 seconds
- Termites can gain access to your home through a crack 1/64 of an inch wide. The thickness of a piece of paper.
- The Department of agriculture recommends that every homeowner have a termite inspection at least annually.
- Termites are found in every state except Alaska