Swarm of eastern subterranean termites. Photo by Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org.

Spring is in the air and that means termite swarming season is near!

Northwest Florida is home to fifteen native species of termites and six species that have invaded from other parts of the world. One invasive species of termite, the Formosan termite, arrived in the southeastern United States in the 1950’s and has been expanding its range and numbers ever since. While our native termites have colonies in the thousands of individuals, Formosan termite colonies can contain millions of individuals and that makes them a greater threat if they invade your home.

 

 

Here are some steps you can take to protect your home:

  • Turn off outside lights during termite swarming season – late April through June – the swarms are attracted to the light and may then find entry into your home.
  • Reduce moisture around your home by keeping gutters clean and having them drain at least a foot away from the foundation.
  • Avoid irrigation hitting the house.
  • Plants and mulch should be a foot away from the foundation.
  • Repair leaks and cracks – termites can get into the smallest of spaces.
  • Avoid wood, stucco and siding in contact with the ground.
  • Have an annual inspection by a licensed pest control company. Read the fine print of what is covered and what species/type of termites are included. Some policies exclude coverage for Formosan termites.

For more information:

Subterranean Termites

The Facts About Termites and Mulch

UF/IFAS Featured Creature: Formosan Termites

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Termite Control Information

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Formosan Termite Program

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