June 9, 2017
Living in Florida we know that spring time brings termites. There are many types of termites that live here in sunny South Florida. Recently, there have been two termites that are causing mayhem, especially in areas like Delray Beach and Boca Raton.
The first termite that is currently swarming is the Eastern subterranean termite. This is the most common termite found in the United States. The subterranean termites swarm more often from the month of April through July. The termites form large colonies consisting of workers, soldiers, and reproductives known as alates. The alates are also the swarmers of the colony. The swarmers will shed their wings once the colony finds a home in the ground. Then, they will look for a mate and find a new place to lay eggs. They will then become the “king and queen” of the new colony.
The subterranean termites live underground and build carton nests, which are large and rock-like. The termites will travel through tunnels throughout the soil to find food. For food, they look for wood materials and fixtures as well as other materials that contain cellulose such as paper or cotton. Once the food source has been found, the workers will leave behind pheromones along the tunnel trails to share the location with the other workers. To identify an infestation of subterranean termites you should look for carton nests or damage to paint or wallpaper. The mud tunnels are also a good identifier, but they may be in hard to see places.
The second type of termite is the drywood termite. These termites are very dominating in the Southern states and swarming is most common between the months of May and August. The drywood swarmers are about 7/16 inches in length and can be identified by having a yellowish-brown color, and having translucent wings. Drywood termites, unlike the subterranean termites, live inside their source of food. They form nests and live in colonies consisting of pseudergates, also known as “false workers”, soldiers, and nymphs. The drywood colonies tend to be smaller than the subterranean colonies and not as spread out, but there can be multiple colonies found within one structure.
These termites typically infest wood that is nondecayed. You can find them in places like wood flooring, attics, wood frames, wood furniture, window sills, or doors. Typically, drywood termites live in structures with temperatures around 60°F but can live in temperatures up to 110°F. Because these termites do not live in soil, they have adapted to drier and harsher living conditions. They retain their body moisture allowing them to survive in more environments. To identify if you have an infestation of drywood termites, there are two things you should look for. The first is looking for the fecal pellets of the termite. The pellets will be six-sided and found in mounds. It will look as if there are mounds of sawdust. The second way to identify drywood termites is to spot blistering or a warping appearance in the wood.
Termites can be very destructive, causing an extensive cost for repair. To protect your property, contact Nozzle Nolen today for a free termite inspection!
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