Termite Identification & Prevention

What are termites?

Termites are wood-eating insects that find their way inside of homes and commercial properties while out foraging for food. Each year, termites are responsible for over five billion dollars in property damage all across the United States. Termites are social insects that live and work together in large colonies. The members of a termite colony are divided into different groups or “castes”: workers, soldiers, and reproductives (kings and queens).

atermite crawling on damaged wood inside a home in deerfield beach florida

Some of the most common species of termites living throughout our area of Southeast Florida include the following:

Drywood termites
Drywood termites are larger than subterranean termites, although their colonies are much smaller. They feed only on dry wood at a slow rate but are still very efficient feeders and only leave a thin exterior shell once they are finished eating a piece of wood. These termites attack sound wood and can cause serious damage to things like wooden beams, furniture, and playsets.

Eastern subterranean termites
Eastern subterranean termites live together in large colonies; a single colony may have hundreds of thousands of members. While these colonies are smaller than those of Formosan termites, their presence is more widespread. Subterranean termites are attracted to water-damaged wood and are most often found attacking the structural wood of a building. These termites are responsible for causing significant damage to properties across the United States.

Formosan termites
Formosan termites are another subterranean species that lives in vast colonies that are much larger than eastern subterranean termites, consisting of up to have several million members! Due to their aggressive feeding habits, they can cause more damage in a shorter period of time than other species of termites. They create nests both above and under the ground. Formosan termites live in the Southeast United States, as well as in Hawaii.

Are termites dangerous?

Termites pose no physical danger to people, and it’s rare to even see a termite. These insects do, however, represent an extreme threat to the homes and other buildings they invade. Termites work around the clock all throughout the year to feed their colonies. This invasive feeding comes at the cost of billions of dollars every year, and homeowners insurance does not usually cover termite damage.

Why do I have a termite problem?

The hot, humid weather in Florida unfortunately allows termites to threaten properties throughout the year. Subterranean termites become a problem for home and business owners after finding their way inside while foraging for food. They enter through tiny cracks and crevices in the foundation, on wooden items that have soil contact, or through aerial attacks (Formosan termites). Drywood termites usually get into homes inside pieces of infested wood or wooden furniture that is brought into your home or business.

Where will I find termites?

Drywood termites nest inside of the wooden structures they feed on, while neither eastern subterranean or Formosan termites nest in the wood they are feeding on. They travel back and forth from their nest to their food source each day. Both of these species of subterranean termites feed on the structural wood above ceilings, behind walls, and under flooring. Formosan termites also create carton nests which allows them to nest above the ground and still maintain their moisture levels. Formosan termites' aerial nests are often found on the rooftops of buildings with a flat roof or between wall voids.

How do I get rid of termites?

The best way to eliminate problems with termites in your Southeast Florida home or business is to partner with an experienced professional. At Pest-Aside, we offer the residential and commercial services needed to get rid of termites and other common Florida pests at an affordable price. We are 100% committed to our customers and their pest control needs. To learn more about our pest control services, contact Pest-Aside today!

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Preventing problems with termites on your Boca Raton or Southeast Florida property is a difficult task, but here are some steps you can take to help avoid an infestation:

  • Leave a rock or crushed stone barrier of at least 12-18 inches between any soil or mulch and your home’s foundation.

  • Replace mulch with gardening materials like crushed rock, rubber mulch, or other non-organic options.

  • Clean gutters to prevent water from backing up and seeping into your home’s walls.

  • Remove water-damaged wood from your home or business.

  • Repair any signs of roof damage.

  • Ventilate crawlspaces.

  • Do not over-water your lawn or garden areas.

  • Limit soil-to-wood contact around your home and on your property.

  • Fix leaky pipes, faucets, or fixtures, and use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels.

  • Install weather-stripping around all windows and doors to help prevent rainwater from getting into your home.

  • Inspect newly purchased furniture and other wooden items for signs of termite damage before introducing them into your home.


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