If you love Florida or have moved here for its warm climate, you may be breathing a sigh of relief as the weather begins to warm up again. However, as February approaches and the temperatures rise, keep in mind that you’re not the only one enjoying these warmer days. February traditionally begins Subterranean Termite swarm season, and the humidity is often what stirs them up!
Subterranean Termites are fascinating insects indeed. They serve a purpose as “nature’s clean up,” whether that consists of eating fallen or dead trees, stumps, or debris. Unfortunately, these insects have no way of distinguishing rotting wood in the forest from the wooden foundation in your home. They will eat anything made of cellulose, including wood, paper, door and window frames, baseboards, wall studs, attic rafters, and furniture. Studies have shown that Subterranean Termites will even eat fast food wrappers, books, fabric, carpet, and insulation! There is no questioning the type of damage these creatures can do to your home.
Signs of Subterranean Termite Activity to Look For
- Finding small wings inside or outside your home. Subterranean Termites shed their wings when they’ve chosen a new environment to live and nest in. This allows them to crawl inside small cracks and spaces, burrowing and building tunnels.
- Moist, soft, or sagging areas in wooden framework. If certain structures such as door frames or floors seem to be sagging or warping, this is a critical sign the structure could be weakening from moisture or damage from Subterranean Termites that have found their next food source. They eat structures from the inside, so the exterior of the framework might feel thin and hollow.
- Mud tubes on or nearby your property. Mud tubes are often built along the walls of a foundation to supplement Subterranean Termites with the moisture requirement they need to thrive while they scour your home for any possible food source. They will commonly build these tubes near areas of moisture, whether that may be your lanai, the exterior of your home, or the interior in “damp” rooms such as the bathrooms, kitchen, or garage – especially if it provides them with the extra humidity they need.
- Bubbling, peeling, or cracking paint on your interior or exterior walls. You may think wear and tear is a normal process as the foundation of your home ages. And while that is true, if you notice the paint on your walls bubbling, chipping, peeling, flaking, or cracking, this can actually be another warning sign that Subterranean Termites are present. Paint tends to bubble, peel, or chip when exposed to prolonged moisture, a key element that these termites thrive in.
- Sounds inside your wall. As tiny as they may be, Subterranean Termites have a big, destructive bite, and you may be able to hear the workers chewing through the walls if you put your ear up and listen closely!
How Do I Protect My Home from Subterranean Termites?
We recommend always eliminating any source of extra moisture and water build-up in your home. This includes fixing leaky pipes, maintaining your roof, cleaning your gutters, and keeping sprinkler heads pointed away from your home when running your irrigation system. We also DO NOT advise keeping any kind of wood stacked around your home, such as firewood. This is a delicious attractant to termites and a temptation into drawing them into your home. Of course, a proper preventative treatment from TNT Termite and Pest Control may be the most effective option.
Help! I Think I Have Termites!
As we at TNT Termite and Pest Control always say, there are two types of homes in Florida: homes that have termites, and homes that will eventually get termites. Whether you find any signs of termite activity on your property, or want to get an inspection for peace of mind, you need to call the experts at TNT Termite and Pest Control immediately to set up an appointment for a free estimate and complimentary inspection. Our friendly team of pest experts are ready to come to your rescue in protecting your biggest investment—your home!
Call us today at (813) 468-8574, send us a message here on our website, or email Andy at Andy@tnttermiteandpestcontrol.com.