termites eatig wood

When it comes to scary pests in Florida, few can compete with subterranean termites. While these insects aren't a threat to health, they are a serious threat to property. They come up from the ground and feed on properties in Miami-Dade county for years without being detected. How do they do this without being caught? It has to do with how they behave. We're going to take a look at the behavior patterns of subterranean termites and discuss how understanding these behaviors can help you detect termites before they do significant damage to your property.

termite up close
termite colony

Workers Hate The Light

While termite workers live their lives in utter darkness, and they are born without the ability to see, they are able to detect light. When they detect it, they avoid it at all cost. This causes termite workers to not only stay entirely inside the wood they're feeding on, but all of the activities they do are done under the cover of complete darkness. This adds up to one inescapable truth: Termite activity is hard to detect. If you're looking to find termite workers, you're going to have to search for them.

Where do you look for termite workers?

  • Cut into stumps, logs, and other sources of wood in your yard. If you find tiny pale insects that look a little bit like ants, you've found yourself some worker termites. These workers will be with larger soldier termites that have black pincers on their heads.

  • Dig up some soil near your home, or underneath your home. Termites crawl up from the ground to get into homes.

  • Do a renovation. This is often how termites are found. As wood is being ripped out, termite tunnels are exposed.

Workers Require Moisture

If subterranean termites attack a home and there are no wood-to-soil contact points, workers will create shelter tubes up your foundation walls. These shelter tubes are made from soil and saliva, and they are essentially a continuation of ground tunnels. Keep in mind that these tunnels will be created under the cover of utter darkness.

Where might you find shelter tubes?

  • In a crawl space under your home

  • On the interior of cement piers

  • On a dark basement or cellar wall

  • On an exterior foundation wall that is in a location that gets dense shade

What do shelter tubes look like?

These tubes are often mistaken for a natural phenomenon because they are made of mud, and workers create a pattern that can be mistaken for a natural pattern. They often look like rivers, branches, or lightning strikes going from the ground upward. They may also be in a single, thin line.

Termites Send Out Reproductives To Establish New Nests

When a nest matures, which usually takes more than three years, the nest will begin to produce male and female reproductives. We call these swarmers because they swarm together during the reproductive process. These swarmers aren't like the worker termites. They don't hide from the light. In fact, they're attracted to it. So you may see these insects crawling on the outside of your home. If you do, there are a few things you should know.

What should you know about termite swarmers?

  • They are often a sign of a current and mature infestation on your property.

  • Reproductives only swarm for about 30 minutes.

  • Swarms don't travel far.

  • Swarmers are dark-colored or black insects with long white wings that stack on top of each other and appear rounded at the tips. When together in a group, these wings make them very noticeable, but a swarmer that lands on you by itself is likely to go unnoticed. A swarmer is only about ⅜ of an inch long.

The Best Way To Detect Termites

Attempting to see workers, locating shelter tubes, or seeing swarmers on your home is difficult, even if you know what you're looking for. The best way to protect your equity is to invest in termite control. Termite damage is 100 percent preventable when termiticides are applied by a certified termite control professional.

Don't take chances with your Miami-Dade County home or business property investment. Contact AMCO Pest Solutions, Inc. today and get your termite protection in place. We're standing by to help. 


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