Termites are a major problem for homeowners, causing billions of dollars in damage each year. While termites are most active during the warm months, they can still be a problem in winter, especially in the southwestern United States.
What Are Termites?
Termites are social insects that live in colonies. The colony is made up of different castes, including workers, soldiers, and reproductives. Workers are the most numerous caste and are responsible for finding food, building the nest, and caring for the queen. Soldiers defend the colony from predators. Reproductives are the future queens and kings.
How Do Termites Damage Homes?
Termites feed on wood and other cellulose-based materials. They can cause extensive damage to homes and other structures by tunneling through the wood. This damage can lead to structural problems, such as sagging floors and walls.
Depending on the severity, a termite infestation can be a major threat to a home’s structural integrity.
When Are Termites Most Active?
All subterranean and drywood termites are most active during the warm months when the weather is conducive to their reproduction and feeding. However, they can remain active year-round in some areas, such as the southwestern United States.
Termites in Winter
All termite species are cold-blooded insects, so they need to find ways to stay warm in winter. In most cases, they will move deeper underground where the ground temperature is warmer. However, if your home is heated, termites may be attracted to the warm, moist environment.
Here are some signs that you may have a termite swarm in your home during winter:
Termites often build mud tubes to travel from their nest to food sources. These tubes can be found on the outside of your home as well as inside. The mud tubes are made of soil and saliva, and they help to protect the termites from the elements.
Termites eat wood from the inside out, leaving behind a hollowed-out shell. If you see any soft, spongy wood, or if you can see light through the wood, it may be a sign that termites have been eating it.
During the spring and fall, drywood and subterranean termite colonies may swarm in search of new mates and nesting sites. If you see swarming termites in your home, it is a sign that you likely have an infestation. Swarmers are winged termites that are looking to start a new termite colony, and signs of their presence include discarded wings and flying termites.
How to Prevent Termites in Winter
There are a number of things you can do to prevent termite activity in winter:
- Seal up any cracks or holes in your home’s foundation. Termites swarm through even the smallest cracks or holes. Seal up any cracks or holes with caulk or sealant.
- Treat your home with a termite-resistant product. There are a number of termite-resistant products available, such as termite bait stations and termite barriers. These products can help to control termites and prevent them from entering your home.
- Have a professional termite inspection performed every year. A professional termite inspector can inspect your home for signs of termite colonies and recommend the best course of pest control treatment.
Additional Tips for Preventing Termites in Winter
Keep your home well-ventilated. Termites are attracted to moist environments, so it is important to keep your home from trapping moisture. This will help to reduce the humidity levels in your home and make it less attractive to termites, as well as reduce mold growth.
Trim back tree branches that overhang your home. Termites can use tree branches to reach your home, so it is important to trim back any branches that are close to your foundation.
Inspect your home for termite damage regularly. Even if you have taken steps to prevent termites, it is still important to inspect your home for termite damage regularly. This will help you to catch any termite infestations very early when they are easier to treat.
Benefits of Termite Prevention and Removal Services
There are a number of benefits to getting into termite control, prevention, and removal services.
- Early detection is key: Termites can cause extensive damage if they are not detected early. A professional inspection can help you identify any potential problems.
- Professional treatment is more effective: DIY methods are complicated and often ineffective, leading to a more serious termite infestation.
- Preventative treatment can save you money in the long run: Preventative treatment can help you avoid the cost of major repairs.
Termites can be a problem year-round, even in winter. If you suspect that you have termites, it is important to have a professional inspect your home immediately. Early detection is key to preventing serious damage.
If you are concerned about the signs of termites everywhere, the best way to protect your home is to get a termite inspection and termite treatment from a qualified pest control professional. A termite inspection can help you identify any potential problems and take steps to prevent termite infestation.
To find a qualified termite inspector and exterminator, contact Budget Brothers Termite & Pest. Our experts will eliminate these destructive insects and help keep you and your family safe throughout winter.