How to Prevent Termites in South Florida
May 11, 2020
Termites can attack South Florida homes and businesses all year long. Find out why termite protection from Nozzle Nolen is necessary today.
When it comes to blue skies, warm sunshine, and mild temperatures, South Florida is hard to beat. Bearing a close resemblance to the Caribbean, people travel from all over the country to experience the azure waters, exotic plants, and thriving culture. If you’re a new Florida homeowner or business owner, though, you might be unfamiliar with another kind of tourist that travels to town all year long: termites.
Unfortunately, people aren’t the only ones chomping at the bit to visit “America’s Tropics.” (With termites, we mean that literally!) Both dry wood and subterranean termites flourish in our temperate climate, making termite control in Florida necessary every month of the year.
Wood-munching termites are responsible for billions of dollars in home and business damage each year. Often, they go undetected for long periods of time, generating expensive infrastructure problems and repair needs.
In short, the longer termites live in your home, the more expensive they will be to get rid of—which is why it’s important to learn how to prevent termites from booking a flight straight to your doorstep.
At Nozzle Nolen, our termite control technicians have six decades of experience treating these insects in South Florida, so we’re here to inform you of the best methods to prevent termites all year long. Termite control in Florida starts with home maintenance and repairs, including:
- Preventing water accumulation around your property.
- Fixing leaky plumbing.
- Limiting earth-to-wood contact.
- Removing old tree stumps or scrap lumber.
- Keeping shrubs or mulch away from your home.
- Sealing cracks or openings in your foundation.
- Blocking outdoor vents or openings with termite-proof steel mesh.
Is Termite Protection Necessary in Florida?
Year-round termite protection in Florida isn’t just a good idea; it’s necessary—and for good reason. Termites are prolific breeders with insatiable appetites. If your home or business provides conducive conditions for these insects to thrive, they will infiltrate quickly and cause damage to wood members around your property right away. Without proper preventative measures in place, your area will be susceptible to infestations all year long.
What Attracts Termites to Your Property?
Drywood and subterranean termites need cellulose and moisture to survive. Cellulose is the most common naturally occurring compound on earth, and the wooden structures of your property are 50 percent cellulose. Common areas termites are attracted to around your property include:
- Unsealed or unpainted wood
- Exposed rafter tails
- Old tree stumps or wood waste piles
- Excessive ground moisture
- Wood rot
How Do Termites Digest Wood?
When termites “feed” on wood, protozoa (single-celled, microscopic organisms that live in termites’ stomachs) help them digest the dense cellulose fibers with ease. Talk about a mutually inclusive relationship!
Drywood Termite Entry Points
Although dry wood termites do not have eyes, they are remarkably talented at locating food sources, especially during swarming season (spring and early summer). While some of these termites perish as they blindly search for ample moisture and cellulose, many of them strike gold—and that gold mine will likely be your property. Drywood termites can enter your home a variety of ways, including through:
- Improperly sealed vents
- Cracks in trim
- Window frames
- Exposed beams and rafters
Drywood Termite Warning Signs
Drywood termites are sly little insects that infiltrate wood members from the inside out. This means that infestations can be difficult to spot if you don’t know what to look for. Telltale signs of a drywood termite infestation include:
- Swarmers taking flight in spring or autumn
- Broken-off termite wings near windows
- Pellets located near windowsills or sliding glass doors
- Exterior paint blistering
- Damaged wood
Subterranean Termite Entry Points
Similar to drywood termites, subterranean termites use the trial-and-error method to seek out food sources blindly, but they typically do so from the ground up. These termites primarily live off the soil, but they will seek out wooden structures to feed on during swarming season in the spring. Through an intricate system of mud tubes, subterranean termites can work their way infinitely upward until they find the cellulose to feed their colony. Common subterranean termite entry points around your property include:
- Foundation cracks and exposed seams
- Faulty yard grading up to your foundation
- Earth-to-wood contact
- Leaky plumbing fixtures
- Irrigation pooling from improper runoff
Subterranean Termite Warning Signs
As subterranean termites infiltrate from the ground up, infestation signs can be tough to spot before it’s too late, especially because they are fond of crawl spaces underneath your property. Evidence that subterranean termites have infested your home include:
- Swarmers taking flight in early spring
- Wings broken off near windows
- Mud tubes
- Wood damage
How to Prevent Termites in South Florida
Treating termites after you have an infestation can be difficult, costly, and time-consuming. Rather than waiting until it’s too late, you can take the proper precautions to keep your home or business protected against termite damage. Key elements to a steadfast termite prevention plan include:
- Prevent water accumulation near and in your property. Fix leaky plumbing, ensure your gutters are moving water away from your foundation properly, and check that there are no areas of standing water around your home. If your property has faulty grading, add dirt to your yard and slope it away from your foundation.
- Keep wooden structures—including door frames, window frames, and siding—at least one inch above from the soil.
- Remove old tree stumps and never bury waste lumber or wood scraps around your garden or yard.
- Avoid planting shrubs or placing mulch up against your home.
- Seal all cracks or openings in your foundation to prevent termites from gaining access.
- Ensure all vents or openings on the outside of your property are properly sealed with termite-proof steel mesh.
Take Termite Prevention to the Next Level with Nozzle Nolen
Year-round termite prevention in South Florida is critical for your property’s infrastructure. Without the proper precautions in place all year long, these cellulose-crunching insects can secretly invade the wood members of your home or business—causing thousands of dollars in treatments and repairs.
If you’re unsure whether or not your property is susceptible to termite infestations, let the pros at Nozzle Nolen help. Our Green Shield-Certified technicians can perform an extensive inspection of your space and provide preventative termite treatments. Additionally, we offer customizable pest control packages—complete with bi-monthly or quarterly services—so you can rest easy knowing your home or business is protected from termites.
Stop termites from checking off South Florida on their tour of tasty places in America! Request your free inspection Nozzle Nolen today!
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