Termite Identification

What are termites?

In Florida, the warm, damp climate provides the perfect environment for termites to thrive, much to every home and business owner’s dismay! Termites are elusive wood-eating pests that move into our structures without being seen and work for months or years until the damage they cause finally becomes enough that someone notices them. 

a termite on its mound

In our region, two common types of termites that regularly invade our properties are the subterranean termite and drywood termite.

Subterranean termites are termites that build their nests deep within the ground in areas of damp soil. They have high moisture needs and require contact with the ground to survive. These termites also prefer to feed on decaying or water-damaged wood. They are one of the most widespread and damaging species of termites living in the U.S.

Drywood termites don’t nest in the ground; they nest right inside the wood they are excavating. They have lower moisture needs than subterranean termites, live in smaller colonies, and prefer to feed on sound, dry wood.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are very dangerous to have on your property. Not because you have to worry about them biting you or spreading diseases to you or your pets, but because they are so destructive. Termites are tiny in size, but they live together in large colonies and have big appetites. They are on a constant year-round mission to feed all the members of their colony.

Termite damage costs home and business owners billions of dollars in repairs every year. Termite damage affects the structural integrity of your home and repairing termite damage is costly, and stressful. Termites aren't pests that just naturally move along; once they move onto a property, they usually stay until forced to leave. Partnering with a professional is the best way to eliminate termites and prevent their future return.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Subterranean termites are most likely to become an issue in your home after moving inside. As the worker termites travel through the soil searching for food sources, they often find their way into a home through spaces in the foundation. Things like leaky pipes, clogged gutters, and dense vegetation can provide the moisture near a house that attracts these termites. Subterranean termites also move into homes or other structures through wood that's making direct contact with the ground. 

Drywood termites move into structures through the foundation, vents, gaps around windows and doors, and spaces along the roofline. Drywood termites also move inside in already infested wood like wooden furniture, floorboards, wood trim, construction timbers, roofing materials, and other wooden materials.

Where will I find termites?

Termites work year-round, round the clock, especially in Florida, where the warm temperatures and humidity provide them with plenty of food and the ability to stay active.

Since termites feed on the inside of wood, it is rare to see them. The most common way to know that termites are on or near your property is by witnessing a termite swarm. A termite swarm occurs when winged reproductive termites fly from their nest to find a mate and create a new nest. They often swarm in large numbers, which makes them difficult to miss!

Listed below are other common signs of a termite infestation. Knowing the signs of an infestation is the best way to get help before termites can cause extensive damage.

  • If drywood termites are in your home, it is common to discover their presence after seeing frass. As the termites move through the wood, they kick out the sawdust and their feces. Frass combined with small holes in the wood above it indicates a termite infestation.

  • If subterranean termites cannot move through the ground, they will create mud tubes to travel through. Finding mud tubes running on the ground toward your house or along the foundation or crawl space walls indicates that termites could be present.

  • Noticing that doors or windows in your home are no longer opening or closing properly indicates termites may be present. 

  • Finding your floors feel “spongy” when you walk on them, indicates termite damage. Termite damage will also cause ceiling or floors to sag.

How do I get rid of termites?

Here at Green-Tech Termite and Pest Control, we are a family owned and operated pest control company that has protected people and properties in the Tampa Bay area from pests since 1980. We offer quality, affordable pest control services that you can trust to eliminate destructive termites from your property! Our services are customized to meet your property’s individual needs and the type of termite present.

We are a full-service, customer-oriented company dedicated to making sure the pest control services we perform are effective and eco-friendly. To learn more about how we can rid your property of wood-eating termites through accurate identification and our effective termite control services in Tampa Bay, FL, give Green-Tech Termite and Pest Control a call today!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Keep termites from invading your property with the help of our professionals and the following prevention tips. 

  • Inspect lumber, flooring, furniture, and other wood items for signs of termites before bringing them into your home. 

  • Repair cracks or other openings in your foundation or exterior walls termites could move through.

  • Use a termite-proof steel mesh to cover vents and spaces around utilities entering your home. 

  • Eliminate damp or rotting wood from outside your house or yard that could attract termites.

  • Leave at least a one-inch gap between the ground and your home’s wooden door frames, shingles, or trim. 

  • Don’t allow deck posts, porch steps, and other wooden structures to make direct contact with the ground. 

  • Get rid of excess moisture by repairing leaky pipes, clogged drains, and poorly ventilated areas of your home.

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels in your home. 

  • Keep the soil around your home’s perimeter as dry as possible. Make sure gutters are working and cut back trees and shrubs from your the exterior.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control solutions.

 

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