Termites cause billions of dollars worth of structural damage. Florida homeowners need to especially be wary of subterranean termites. These termites are active year-round.
Subterranean termites are one of the three main termite species commonly found in Florida. They nest in the soil, which makes them difficult to identify. They create mud tunnels that help them navigate underground.
They primarily stay hidden, entering your home through foundation cracks. From here, they eat the structural wood from your home.
Fortunately, Florida homeowners can catch common signs of a subterranean termite infestation. Here are some common signs of termites and when you need to call a pest control service.
Look for Swarms
Occasionally, the termites will leave their underground nests to find some light.
This often happens with winged termites, who can be seen around lighting fixtures.
They may also be trying to get inside your home, which is why homeowners often notice swarms around their door, windows, and even their vents. Seeing a swarm, whether indoors or outdoors, is usually the first sign of an infestation.
Another sure sign of an infestation is finding wings and termite frass (also known as termite excrement) left around your home.
Subterranean termites live in mud tubes, which are tunnels they forge through the ground. These mud tubes extend to your home and can be visible from the outside and even the inside of your home.
Look for mud tubes around your home. These are skinny, flat-looking tunnels. You’ll likely find them over your concrete foundations but they can appear anywhere around your home, especially around any exposed surfaces.
Subterranean termites will likely enter your home from the ground up. This is also why you’ll commonly find mud tubes under your flooring or behind your siding. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to catch the mud tubes in these areas.
Dark patches and blisters in the wood are common wood damage indicators. Take a look at the wood around and throughout your home and check for these signs of termites.
The only downside to this sign is that subterranean termites only eat the interior springwood. This leaves the exterior surface and grain intact, making the wood damage less noticeable.
You can still check for subterranean termite damage. Take a screwdriver and punch it through the wood. If it breaks easily, this means the wood is weak and termites have more than likely started feasting on the wood.
Strange Wall Sounds
Termites can enter the inside of your walls by navigating through cracks in your foundation. You can hear them while they’re feasting on the wood of your walls, especially if you put your ear to the wall.
You may also hear the termites’ bodies banging up against the wall as they crawl or fly around.
Hard-to-Open Windows and Doors
Termites may also build their mud tunnels to your windows and doors. If this happens, moisture builds up. This causes difficulty when opening up your windows and doors.
Keep in mind, this isn’t the best indicator of a termite infestation. Florida is a humid state and finding moisture around your doors and windows is common.
Always look for one of these other signs first. If you’re ever unsure, you can always call a pest control company to survey your home.
Another sign you can look for is compromised wood around your windows and doors. The termites built their mud tunnels to this area to eat the wood and access the light. Look for warped wood and even decreased structural integrity.
Your home’s structural wood isn’t the only subterranean termite food source.
Subterranean termites also target other areas of your backyard, such as trees. If termites eat your trees, the tree bark can break and the tree can fall—on the ground, on the power lines, and even your home.
Inspect your trees regularly. Look for small holes in the tree and wood shavings around the tree. You may also see wings and dead termites around the base of the tree.
If you notice these issues, call a pest control company. They can inspect your home to check if the termites have damaged your property.
Subterranean termites are attracted to moisture-damaged wood. They need moisture to survive and not only feed on the wood but also live inside of it.
If you recently sustained water damage in your home, you should check the wooden foundation for any signs of a termite infestation.
Other Areas to Find Subterranean Termites
Because they spend most of their time underground, subterranean termites are tricky to spot.
However, they do come out to feed and be near the light. They’re also attracted to certain areas of your home. These areas are the easiest way to spot subterranean termites.
Any place where your home’s structural wood touches the soil is an easy access point for subterranean termites.
They will first start feasting on this wood until they can find more wood around your property. The best course of action is to separate your structural wood from the ground with concrete.
If your home was recently built, any construction debris is a jackpot for subterranean termites.
This can be hard to spot, especially if the debris is underground. However, this debris can be detrimental, especially if your home is built directly on top of it.
If moisture accumulates easily inside and outside of your home, you can find subterranean termites devouring and living in the moist wood. This can also happen after a big storm of an extremely humid season.
Identify the Signs of Termites
The last thing Florida homeowners want is termite damage. Termites are difficult to kill and termite damage is expensive.
Subterranean termites are difficult to spot since they live underground. By knowing the signs of termites, you can easily spot a termite infestation and can act immediately.
What do you do if you spot a termite infestation? Always have a reliable pest control company to call.
Take a look at our subterranean termite services. We can help homeowners in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Manatee county.