Drywood Termites can cause damage too
Summer with its sunny days is the perfect time to go to the beach, celebrate and live it up. But in the midst of all this good news, there is one small bit of bad news; summer is also the season of drywood termites in Florida, but no need to panic.
Florida, the Sunshine State is a wonderful place to live for us and unfortunately also the termites and invasive plant species. Weeds are something that can be dealt with easily but termites thrive very fast in Florida’s moist environment, and if left unchecked, can destroy or devalue a home.
A little preparation can really help in the battle against termites. At this time of the year of subterranean termites swarms will be diminishing but drywood termites swarms are starting to hit their peak. However do not think that termites are active at this time of the year only. Termites are active all year round; it’s just that they start swarming at specific times of the year.
There are several types of termites present in Florida and it is important that you know about them so you can carry out the necessary prevention tactics. First let us talk about subterranean termites. Subterranean termites are the most destructive type. These bugs usually live in underground colonies and the nests can contain more than 1 million termites. In order to travel above ground they build dirt like tunnels (these tunnels also shield them from predators and the weather). Once these termites reach inside a home, they will eat drywall, furniture and even books. Since they reside underground, their infestation is difficult to notice until it is too late. In order to prevent Subterranean termites prevent mulch from piling up against the home’s exterior. Mulch beds are areas of higher moisture and mulch can also serve as the termite’s primary food source. If you are using mulch then keep it at least several inches away from your home.
Drywood termites are cousins of subterranean termites, but unlike their cousins drywoods do not nest in the soil. Their colonies are found in dry sound wood. Signs of their infestation are easier to spot because as they eat they produce small fecal pellets that look like sawdust. So if you spot “sawdust” around your home you know you have a drywood termite problem. However before infestation strikes you can take steps in order to prevent it. Firstly seal all exposed wood with a uniform coating of paint, varnish or any other sealant. This will prevent dry wood termites from burrowing and creating nests. Be sure to seal any nail holes and cracks. Also buy a 20-mesh screen for all windows are doors, especially for the ventilation openings of attics and crawl spaces.
For preventing infestation of drywood termites there are other general thing you should carry out:
- Fix roof or plumbing leaks. Even a small leakage can be enough to support a large drywood termite colony.
Make sure there is contact between your home foundation and the soil. Also get rid of any unwanted wood stacks and other debris. If you have to store wood, store it above ground level and away from the home.