Termites in Florida
Types of Florida Termites
While termites are nature’s way of helping wood decompose, they are also a financial burden when they consume the wood in homes and businesses. Residents who suspect they have a termite infestation should immediately contact the Orkin termite specialists and request an inspection.
In Florida, eastern subterranean termites are generally more widespread, while Formosan termites are more destructive. One of the reasons for this is the size of their colonies, which can reach millions of termites. The pests also produce secondary colonies that can survive almost anywhere there’s moisture, such as around plumbing leaks or other sources of damp wood. Therefore, Formosan termites are often able to destroy homes in a matter of months.
Other important termites found in Florida are drywood and dampwood termites. As their name would imply, dampwood termites typically infest wood that is moist from water leaks or in contact with soil. However, dampwood termites do not live and forage in the soil like subterranean termites. Wood in contact with the ground, wood around leaks in the roof, wood siding, and wood that shows evidence of fungal decay are all conducive to infestations.
Florida’s dampwood termites are frequently found in the subtropical woodlands, mangrove forests, and urban settings of the state. An interesting characteristic of dampwood termites is their attraction to lights that are left on at night.
Drywood termites, often called powderpost termites, prefer wood that is dry. One of the most common indicators of an infestation is the piles of fecal pellets that accumulate below the wood upon which they are feeding. These fecal pellets resemble grains of sand.
Unlike subterranean termites, colonies of drywood termites develop and grow slowly, sometimes taking five years or more to reach maturity. Even when conditions are conducive to colony growth, the pests reproduce slowly.
Unfortunately, the most effective methods of getting rid of drywood termite infestations are whole or partial fumigation, heat treatments, or injections of control products into damaged wood.