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Termites in Florida - FL Termite Control
The same lush, tropical environment that makes Florida a paradise for human, alas, also makes it a paradise for a myriad of termite species, both native and introduced. If you own so much as a single stick of wood in Florida that is not already being attacked by termites, it is only a matter of time before it will be. Protecting your home from termites in Florida is simply a cost of living in the Sunshine State.
The most common termite in the US, is the Eastern Subterranean type. Subterranean termites build underground colonies below the frost line and above the water table, and must have a "bridge" of some sort between the soil and the wood they feed upon. They prefer softer "spring" wood to harder "summer" growth in lumbar, an eating pattern that often leads to them hollowing structural members and leaving just a thin shell, effectively but invisibly destroying it. Eastern Subterranean termites require some moisture in their colonies, and often fill the spaces they eat in wood with damp soil, causing secondary damage through rotting.
The Formosan Subterranean Termite is a foreign invader, and the most destructive termite species in the United States. As well as infesting houses, they also infest utility poles, barges and ships, and sometimes living trees. They are known to cause power failures by chewing through electrical cable, and can cause major structural damage within a few months of colonizing a building. They are rightly the most feared of all Florida termites.
Drywood Termites present another set of problems from their subterranean cousins. Powderpost Drywood Termites infest dry, sound wood, usually with less than a 12% moisture contact. Unlike subterranean termite species, Florida drywood termites require no ground contact to enter a piece of wood and obtain the moisture they need from the timber they infest. Their colonies are smaller, and can often be found infesting pieces of wood as small as a single item of furniture. They get their name and can often be identified, by the small pellets of dry fecal matter they kick out through holes in the wood they are inhabiting.
Whichever species of FL termites you encounter, the time to act to prevent or stop termite damage is NOW. Remember, if you see any evidence of termite activity in your home, there is probably already a large colony. If it is a colony of the dangerous Formosan termite especially, you must act quickly. People buying homes should have them thoroughly inspected for termite infestation and damage, and have them preemptively treated by a professional Florida termite exterminator.
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