South Florida Termites and How to Control Them

Out of more than 2,000 termite species globally, only about 50 species thrive in the US. Basically termites are found in every state in the US except Alaska. Since they love warm regions, termites occur more naturally in the South, Southeast, Southwest and West. Out of the 50 termite species found in the US, about 20 species thrive in Coral Springs and the entire South Florida area. Here are some of the most common South Florida termites and methods to control them:

Dampwood termites

They live in moist and decaying wood and are less likely to infest a home. Dampwood termites are larger than subterranean termites and are very common in most areas. The insect rarely nest in the soil as they prefer to invade decaying wood on the ground.

Subterranean termites

These are considered as the most wood-damaging insects. Subterranean termites are very hard to notice and most home owners often notice the damage before they realize that they have termite trouble. Colonies of these insects are known to be quite ravenous and can eat up to 11 pounds of wood daily. Subterranean termites found in South Florida are further classified as:

Formosa subterranean

These measure 0.5 -0.6 inches in length and have small hairs on their wings. They normally swam at dusk and sunrise from April –June. If your home is infested by these insects, you will often find swarming Formosa termites or their discarded wings near windows, spider webs in well-lit areas and close to light fixtures.

Native subterranean termites

They are dark brown and measure 0.3 inches in length including wings. The insects normally swarm in February and March, though this depends on the weather; however they prefer a sunny afternoon after a decent downpour. The termites usually build shelter tubes on a foundation to connect the termite population underground with food resources above.

Drywood termites

They have a pale-brown head and body measuring about 0.3 inches in length including the wings. The termites swarm in the evenings at the beginning of the rainy season from May-June. Drywood termites have longer heads and antennas unlike most of their counterparts. They often leave behind fecal pellets which resemble sawdust which is often be spotted beneath infested wood. Unlike their subterranean counterparts, they do not require moisture to thrive. Drywood termites are normally found in roofs, door frames and soffits; they are commonly referred to as powderpost termites due to their telltale pellets.

Termite control methods include:

You’ll find products on the market for treating termites yourself. However, it’s hard to find all of the damage that these hiders have caused. This is why you should consider using a professional pest control service. You can learn more by visiting our Coral Springs pest control website. Nevertheless, here are some things that you can do:

Spot or local control

Spot or local control techniques include use of extreme cold, pesticides and electric current. Local or spot control also includes removal and replacement of infested structural timber. These techniques are often aimed at killing or removing the insects only within a specific area which might leave undetected colonies within the structure open to re-infest the previously sanctified areas.

Whole –house or total control

This technique usually involves using heat method to eradicate the termites. Before the technique is applied, you need to remove plants, pets and other items that can be damaged by high temperatures. After this, the house is covered with tarps and hot air is blown into the tarp until the inside temperature reaches 140 degrees Celsius.

Apart from treating techniques you can prevent termite infestation by making the structures less attractive to these insects. During construction it is recommended that you use a concrete foundation and leave a ventilation space between the soil and the wood. Covering exposed wood surfaces with metal barrier or sealant also helps to prevent termites from reaching the wood.

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