In the United States there are three types of termites that plague homeowners most, they are: subterranean termites, Formosan subterranean termites and drywood termites. Of these three types of termites, Formosan are the most destructive. Though Formosan termites are a form of subterranean termite, and require lots of moisture to survive, they are able to infest a structure without needing mud tubes to give them access to the moisture in outside soil. Without these mud tubes on exterior basement walls, Formosan termites can silently eat away at a man made structure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with little or no visible signs.
Should I be worried about termites in Gainesville Florida?
Take a look at this map on termites101.org. The warm weather and humid climate make Florida the perfect environment for all types of termites to thrive, and these insects stay active all year round. If you don't have termite protection on your Gainesville home you are playing a game of Russian roulette with your equity.
How much damage do termites really do?
Termites cause over $2 billion in property damage each year in the United States. That is why homes and businesses pay over $3 billion to make sure their property is protected from these wood eating insects. For folks living in Michigan it is probably safe to roll the dice and take the chance, but living in Florida without termite protection is more dangerous than living without Hurricane insurance. In fact, it is estimated that termites cause more damage annually than fires, tornadoes and hurricanes combined.
Can't I just look for them myself?
There are ways to detect termites, and knowing what to look for can help you reduce your chances of catastrophic damage. If you're not ready or able to partner with a pest controller, here are the signs you need to be looking for.
Gossamer wings left on window sills, walkways, decks and driveways, after termites swarm.
Swarmers. If you see an insect that looks like a flying ant, but does not have the three distinct body parts of an ant, you're looking at a termite.
Mud tubes on your basement walls. Subterranean termites need the moisture from the soil around your home--unless they are Formosan.
Wood damage. If termites swarm your home, you may be lucky enough to have them chew up your fence, patio, deck, or other outside wood structure. If you see swaths of wood that look like someone used a wood carving tool on them, you have termites.
Listening to your walls will sometimes alert you to termite activity in your wall voids.
Bulging walls, sinking floors, doors and windows that don't open, and other structural issues can be a sign of termite infestation, however, by the time this starts happening, it is too late.
If you live in Gainesville Florida, you can't afford to go without termite protection. Make it a part of your plan to protect your family, and protect your investment.