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FAQs About Termites & Your Home

What is the Story with Termites in Florida?

It is estimated 60% of homes in Florida have some evidence of termites. Subterranean termite colonies live underground and enter through plumbing pipes, cracks to your home’s foundation, and wood to ground contact, such as porch and deck supports and landscape mulch. They can also build mud tubes and tunnels to reach wood several feet above the ground. Termites need food (cellulose, such as wood) and moisture to survive. Wood materials used to build our homes, from basements to crawl spaces to attics, can all provide an ideal environment for these wood destroying insects to thrive. Air conditioning units that have run-off moisture can provide enough water to sustain a large subterranean termite colony. Typical sub termite colonies can contain between 60,000 to 1 million termites. Damage from these pests can be extensive. Subterranean termites cause more damage to homes in the U.S. than all storms and fires combined. Damaged wood can be so bad that a home’s structural integrity can be compromised. Damage can go unseen for years until the colony gets so large they swarm to form a new colony.

How Does a Termite Technician Prevent and Exterminate Termites?

Prevention of termites in your home can be achieved by keeping water from accumulating along your home’s foundation. It’s critical to fix plumbing leaks and replace wet, rotting wood. Trees on your property should also be inspected as well as old stumps are big attractions for termites. CSI bait stations can be used but can be slow acting. They only activate on a molt at the center of the colony. They are non repellent and accumulate in the colony before mortality occurs. Bait stations kill the brood first and will eliminate the colony regardless of distance from baiting. Liquid Termiticides are fast acting and can kill up to 5 meters from treatment area. Liquid Termiticides can also kill by a secondary repellency and transfer of the chemical to other foragers. All though quicker than bait stations, full elimination of a large colony can take some time regardless of which method is performed by the termite technician.

Do Termites Do Anything Positive?

Termites are remarkable insects that inhabit almost every climate on earth. They are of great importance for the ecosystem by helping to decompose dead trees, which in turn create fertile soil for regrowth. They also aerate the soil to help nutrients grow for a healthy ecosystem. A few species of ants and woodpeckers do feed on termites, but for the most part, they will remain elusive insects surviving for millions of more years to come.

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