Termite Control in South Florida~ Al Hoffer’s

Habitat: The most common type, subterranean termites, cause 95% of all termite damage in North America. Found in every state except Alaska, termites are most prevalent in the South; the so-called termite belt stretches across the Southeast from Virginia to Texas.

Clues: You can suss out an infestation by poking wood with a screwdriver; if the tip goes in easily or you hear a hollow sound when you tap the wood with the handle, you might have a problem.

Be on the lookout for a thin gritty gray-brown film on the surface of damaged material. And look for narrow mud tubes on both the interior and exterior of your walls and foundation. Termites travel though these tubes between their colony below the ground and their dinner above—your house.

The one time they come out in the open is when they swarm. Swarms consist of flying “reproductives” that leave the colony, mainly in spring, to mate and start new colonies. You may not spot the swarm itself because the love bugs shed their wings and head underground within a few hours.

Instead, look for discarded wings that resemble fish scales. Swarms can emerge indoors or outdoors. Evidence of an indoor swarm, such as discarded wings or the corpses of termites that couldn’t find a way out, is a sure sign your home is infested.

Most likely to damage: “Almost anything that contains cellulose, the main component of wood, including wood paneling, paper products, cardboard boxes, art canvases, the paper covering of sheet rock, carpeting,” according to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.


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