You may be surprised and horrified to know that at least three different species of subterranean termites not only vacation in Florida, but because of the humid climate and abundance of wood (both necessary lifelines for these destructive creatures) they take up permanent residence here.
These voracious creatures can infest homes, garages, sheds, and fences – even playgrounds! They feed on cellulose which makes any wooden item a potential food source. The subterranean termite is the most destructive species of termite and they usually go undetected until the damage has become severe. They have even been known to collapse entire buildings.
This little pest usually lives underground making detection difficult. Detection can occasionally occur when an observant homeowner notices the winged termite dead on a window sill or in a tub or sink after their annual flight. These flights take place from December to April depending on the specific species. Some species swarm at night while others swarm only on warm days with no wind.
After their short flight, the female termite drops her wings and searches for a nest. She is followed close behind by the male who joins her as soon as she finds her home. They immediately begin laying eggs and thus the colony is born. A colony can contain anywhere from 100,000 to 1,000,000 starving little wood eaters ready to consume any food source they can get their jaws on. They will even climb as high as 150 feet searching for food!
Termites can enter your home through cracks in the foundation and other entrance points. One sign that you may have a termite infestation is the appearance of shelter tubes that run along the base of your foundation called mud tubes. These are termite ‘super highways’ that run from their underground city to the food source. Once severe damage has occurred you may also notice wood that looks blistered and thin or dirty.
You can help prevent these unwanted guests by using gutters and downspouts to keep water from accumulating around your foundation. You may also want to fix any leaks in air conditioning units and plumbing as soon as possible. Mulch and plants should be kept at least 15 inches away from foundations, and firewood should not be stored any closer than 20 feet from your structure. Also, you should ventilate your attics, crawl spaces and basements to prevent moisture build-up. You may also choose to install physical horizontal barriers such as stainless steel screening during pre-construction of your home.
The best and most assured way to remove and prevent termites from moving into your building is with the help of the professionals. Here at McCall Service we choose to use the Sentricon® Termite Colony Elimination System. If you even remotely suspect that you may have some termites moving onto your property or in your building you should contact us here at McCall Service as soon as possible. Remember that these tiny destroyers were born with one purpose, eat and destroy wood and that’s what they are good at! Stop termites quickly with the help of the Sentricon system. Always remember, call McCall, we do it all!