PEST OF THE MONTH
March - Eastern Subterranean Termites
Your home is probably your biggest financial investment, and protecting it is of high priority. Termites cost Floridians hundreds of millions of dollars in damage each year and not being protected against them is like having a fire alarm with a dead battery. By the time a homeowner is alerted there is a problem, it may be too late with the amount of extensive damage they can do.
Florida has various species of termites, with the Subterranean termites being the worst. They will consume about 2-3% their body weight each day and no wood or home is resistant from attack. Subterranean termites are social insects that live in colonies consisting of many individuals. An average, mature colony of Eastern Subterranean termites contains about 60,000 to 1 million workers, while a Formosan Subterranean termite colony contains 350,000 to 2 million workers. It could take the Eastern Subterranean termite colony approximately 118 days to consume a 1-foot length of 2x4 pine, while the Formosan colony only about 19 days to consume the same board. Hence, the Formosan termite is one of the world’s most aggressive, and is located in the Tampa Bay area.
Adult reproductive termites are dark brown to blackish insects, about 3/8 of an inch long. Referred to as “swarmers”, these are the termites that mate and start new colonies. Swarming termites are often confused with ants but can be distinguished by two characteristics. Termites lack the “pinched” waist of ants. Termite wings are all equal in length and almost twice as long as the body, compared to ants that have distinctly longer front wings. A termite swarm indoors is a dependable sign of an indoor infestation. Subterranean termites typically swarm between the months of February and May, however can start as early as January here in Florida. The workers on the other hand, which are the termites that consume the wood, work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, nonstop.
To get more information regarding the potential of termite infestation on your home, take our Termite Survey located under Services.