Another termite season is upon us and we're already getting swarmer calls and new clients. Here's some common questions we get about termites.
Are termites common in Florida?
Yes, they are. No unprotected structure in the state of Florida is immune to a termite infestation.
What is a termite swarmer?
Simply, the winged reproductive life stage of termites. Their sole purpose is to build new termite colonies.
Can termites invade a home that stands on a treeless property?
Swarmers! Termite swarmers are the winged reproductives of termites. When they decide the conditions are suitable to swarm, which is usually during the wintertime after a rain, these winged termites fly off in search of new colonies to create. If a termite swarmer happens to fly into a neighborhood without trees, it’s all the more reason for them to infest your home since they have nothing else to feed on. When winged termites are in flight they can end up anywhere. They don’t have built in sensor organs that lead them to the forest. The wind can also play a role in the direction winged termites head in. When the winged termite lands, the next step is to establish a colony. They don’t simply give up if they land on a lot that has no trees. their survival instincts are much more powerful than that. Also, when a property is cleared to build a house the first 16 inches or so of earth is removed from the top. It takes only four to five years for subterranean termites to tunnel their way back into the area leaving your house exposed to these hungry pests.
Are they flying ants or are they termite swarmers?
Ants have segmented bodies while the termite's body seems more fused. Also, the antennas are a dead giveaway, the termites are straight while the ants are elbowed. Termites wings are also twice as long as their bodies. In my own personal experience, a termite swarmer infestation is much heavier and more dramatic than a group of flying ants but that's just my own personal findings.
How often do termite swarms occur?
Usually once as year during the winter months, especially after a rain. This is, however, not set in stone and a termite colony can swarm any time of the year. Also, just because you're not seeing evidence of termite swarmers in or around your home doesn't mean that you are termite free. Colonies can go many years without swarming.
How do termites enter my home?
Termites will build shelter tubes up a foundation or across other surfaces to gain access to wood (cellulose) which is their food. Termites build these tubes out of particles of soil and their feces. They use these tubes to “bring” their damp underground environment with them. They can’t live exposed to the outside elements for very long. Any building, whether constructed with a slab, basement or crawl space foundation, can be targeted and in need of termite control. Termites can find their way into a structure through an opening as small as 1/32 of an inch and will enter through cracks, expansion joints, hollow bricks, or concrete blocks around plumbing. One very important aspect of termite control is having a basic ideas of construction and knowing where the termites are entering.
What termiticide(s) do you use on your termite treatments?
Meryl's Termite and Pest Control uses Termidor 100% exclusively for all post and correct termite treatments. Conventional liquid treatment with the industries leading termiticide known as Termidor has been the most reliable method of treatment over the past decade. By applying a liquid barrier of Termidor around the structure's foundation or around the tiers of the crawlspace, subterranean termites unknowingly cross over the non-repellent product. Once they have come in contact with the product they spread it to the other termites which eventually reach the queen. Once the queen is killed 100% termite control is achieved. This treatment provide years of protection against subterranean termite infestations.
Is a structure is safe from termites when it contains steel support beams, block, or brick instead of wood?
No, no structure in the state of Florida is completely safe from termites. Even though a structure has steel support beams or made of block or brick, there is still almost always wood along the baseboard from the inside of the structure. The beams that support the attic are still often made of wood. As we all know the roof is one of the most important parts of any structure.
Besides getting a termite treatment, what can I do as a home owner to protect my house from termites?
If you wish to be proactive you can:
- Make sure your home is inspected for termites once a year.
- Fix any leaking plumbing
- Use stone around your house instead of mulch or wood chips
- be sure that the condensation due to air conditioning units is flowing well away from the foundation of the structure.
- Be sure water from gutters is flowing well away from the foundation of the house and do the same for garden hoses.
- Never store firewood up against the foundation of the structure.
Do you use bait stations?
No, we do not. The reason is because they simply have too many faults and can produce a false sense of security, whereas with Termidor, you have a much higher rate of success.
Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control Services Inc offers general pest control for issues including ants, spiders, cockroaches, silverfish, earwigs, crickets, pantry pests, carpet beetles and many more!
Meryl's Termite and Pest Control Services Inc offers termite control that can provide preventative protection from termite infestations and corrective treatments for active infestations.
Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control Services Inc offers a mosquito control program to reduce mosquito populations during the spring and summer months. Zika virus is now in Florida, protect yourself and your family today.
Hours of Operation
Saturday (by appointment only)