Your biggest investment may be at risk. Subterranean termites would love to make a delicious meal of your home, and they can cause an enormous amount of damage. That’s why you need protection that works around the clock to prevent and protect your home. And that’s exactly what you get with Lenny’s Pest Control.
We continue to be a leading Southwest Florida termite control company in customer service, innovative treatments, and results. With years of experience a dedicated pest control team, Southwest Florida home-builders and homeowners continue to turn to us for their termite and pest control services.
Allow us to help you protect your home and family from unwanted invaders for good. We are committed to doing what we say and getting the job done right the first time around! Experience excellent customer service with only the latest and best technology in termite control and prevention from Southwest Florida Choice in Pest Control – Lenny’s Pest Control!
If you have any questions about our termite control services or about how Lenny’s Pest Control can meet your specific needs and budget, call us today at 239-945-6543 or click here to contact us now and request a quote.
Workers are pale, cream colored and wingless. Soldiers are light colored with elongated brown heads and large mandibles. Supplementary reproductives are light-colored and usually wingless, while primary reproductives are dark brown or black with two pairs of gray wings that extend past the body.
Range from 3/8 to 1-inch in length.
Subterranean termites nest in soil to obtain moisture, but they also nest in wood that is often wet. They can easily infest any wood in contact with the ground. If the wood does not contact the soil, they can build mud tunnels or tubes to reach wood several feet above ground. These tunnels can reach 50-60 feet to reach wood and often enter a structure through expansion joints in concrete slabs or where utilities enter the house. A subterranean termite colony can contain between 100,000 and 1 million individuals.
They subterranean termite tends to swarm in spring, but swarms can occur at any time of the year. The primary reproductives are sent out to start new colonies. Supplementary reproductives can only reproduce in their own colony, assisting with population growth. Unlike drywood termites, subterranean termites have a worker caste that contains winged and wingless reproductive males and females (swarmers or alates), workers, and soldiers.
Male and female reproductives emerge to nest and mate, usually from January through April. Their flight is triggered by factors such as heat, light and moisture. As time goes by, the queen grows larger and lays more eggs. The colony stabilizes when the queen reaches maximum egg production or dies; when this happens a secondary reproductive takes her place to keep the colony thriving.
Workers, which make up the largest number of individuals within a colony, do all the colony maintenance, including excavating the nest and making tunnels by chewing and eating wood which causes the most termite destruction. Soldiers resemble the worker except for their large mandibles or jaws. They defend the colony against intruders, primarily ants. Subcolonies, which can exist alone or unite with the main colony, are formed when the old colony produces swarmers to repeat the subterranean termites growth cycle.
Dead trees and brush are the original food source of subterranean termites. When land is cleared of this material and houses are built on these sites, termites attack the structures. Termites can enter buildings through wood in direct contact with the soil, by building shelter tubes over or through foundations, or by entering directly through cracks or joints in and under foundations.
Any material in direct contact with soil, such as trees, vines or even plumbing fixtures, can serve as an avenue for infestation. Subterranean termite swarmers may also be blown into or on structures, thereby starting a new colony.
Termites are attracted to odors formed by wood-decaying fungi that soften the wood and make it easier to penetrate. Moisture is important to subterranean termites, which have little resistance to dehydration. To survive, the termites must maintain contact with soil, their main moisture source, or other above-ground moisture sources such as structures with defective plumbing or gutters.
Termites foraging for food above ground protect themselves with shelter or mud tubes. Worker termites build the tubes from particles of soil or wood and bits of debris held together by salivary secretions. The tubes may be thinly constructed or large and thick-walled to accommodate many termites moving vertically between the soil and the food source.
This construction material also is found lining the galleries built in wood being attacked and aids in identifying termite-damaged wood. Shelter tubes often are used to bridge masonry or other objects, allowing termites access to a food source (wood) above ground.
Subterranean termites are the most common and economically important important wood-destroying organisms in the U.S., They cause more than $2.2 billion in damage each year, more than fire, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Their colonies can contain up to a million termites and are much larger than drywood termite colonies. Some species of subterranean termites can consume 15 pounds of wood per week!
Thorough inspections are the best way to determine whether infestations and damage are present and what measures must be taken. Because subterranean termites forage in soil, it is important to keep structural lumber from direct contact with soil. Check the house foundations, garage and other structures for shelter tubes extending from the soil. Leaky plumbing, air conditioning condensation, and any portion of a building that collects excessive amounts of moisture should be fixed to maintain an environment less attractive to subterranean termites.
Examine foundations and discoloration or staining on walls or ceilings for water leaks that can decay wood and aid termite infestation. Pay close attention to spots where plumbing or utility pipes enter the foundation or flooring. Wood pressure-treated with preservatives can be resistant to termites, and use of treated wood can minimize available food sources for subterranean termites.
Do you live in Southwest Florida and think this termite may be invading your home or office? Lenny’s Pest Control offers specifically designed pest control treatments to regulate and eliminate these pests! Lenny’s Pest Control is Southwest Florida’s Choice in Termite control and prevention.
- Drywood (non-subterranean) termites as well as subterranean termites occur in Florida.
- Drywood termites infest dry wood and do not require contact with the soil. The subterranean species must nest in the soil or near a water source in order to survive.
- Signs of infestations by drywood termites and control measures differ drastically from those for subterranean termites.
- Drywood termites occur in small colonies in isolated wood pieces. Multiple colonies can infest a structure simultaneously
- Control methods include whole structure fumigation, spot treatment with insecticides, or spot heat, shock, microwave, and liquid nitrogen treatment. Heat treatments have been used as whole structure treatments.
- Drywood termites remain hidden within the wood or other material on which they feed, so they seldom seen. Fecal pellets are ejected periodically, while swarmers fly from colonized wood in late spring and summer.
- Galleries or tunnels in the wood made by drywood termites cut across the grain of the wood and destroy both soft spring wood and the harder summer growth. Galleries made by the subterranean species follow the grain of the wood and the soft spring wood is attacked first.
- Treatment of the soil under and around the structure will not protect a structure from drywood termites
- Baiting systems (such as Sentricon, First Line, Exterra) will not protect a structure from drywood termites
• Signs of infestation include:
- Winged insects emerging in evenings and night attracted to lights or TV.
- Discarded wings accumulating around window sills or in spider webs
- Wooden pellets (much smaller that rice grains) accumulating on floors or under furniture. These pellets are cream to reddish-brown or black. The color of the pellets is not related to the color of the wood. The pellets are about 1-2 mm long and distinctively six-sided, making them easily distinguishable from other wood-destroying organisms. Pellets usually fall into piles as the termites push them out of the infested wood.
- A sign of advanced infestation is surface blisters. These termites sometimes tunnel close to the surface giving the wood a blistered appearance. Infestations may be detected by tapping the wood every few inches with the handle of a screwdriver.
- Damaged wood sounds hollow – a papery rustling sound indicates tunnels just beneath the surface.
- Winged termites can be distinguished from winged ants because termites have a thick waist, straight antennae, and equal-length wings whereas ants have a distinctly thin or wasp-like waist, elbowed antennae, and shorter hind wings than fore wings.
- Swarming (mating flights) often occur in the evening hours
- Late Spring and Summer months are the peak season for winged dry-wood termite swarming flights.
- Termite protection contracts are usually only for subterranean termites. A separate contract is usually required for treatment and protection from drywood termites.
- The Florida Building Code does not require a preventive treatment for drywood termites for new construction. It does require a treatment for subterranean termites.
- Coastal and southern areas of the state are more likely to have infestation occur.
- Colonies are smaller and develop over a longer period of time than do subterranean termites therefore the potential for structural damage over a given period of time is less.
- Even though colonies are slow to develop if left unchecked for extended periods of time substantial damage can occur.
- If you suspect an infestation of drywood termites make sure a positive identification is done by an experienced pest control operator such as Lenny’s Pest Control.
- Drywood termites will also infest pieces of furniture (particularly antique pieces). Removal of the item and separate treatment of the piece may be all that is necessary in some instances.
- In some cases, treatment of an infestation of drywood termites may not be needed if the area of infestation can be identified and physically removed (this may or may not be practical from a structural standpoint).
- If it is determined that a drywood termite infestation is present in your home, do not panic, take the time required to collect the information needed in order to make an informed decision as to the best course of action for your situation.
- Be sure to only seek assistance for treatment from properly licensed pest control company such as Lenny’s Pest Control.
- If you have technical questions or more require information please feel free to contact us at 239-945-6543.
A Final Word about Treatment
Before you decide on a treatment plan for termites, it is very important to determine the species you are dealing with. In the southern part of the United States, subterranean termites are the most common. Subterranean termites are the underground termite and travel in mud shelter tubes. They make up about 90% of the termite infestations in the United States. Subterranean termite species that are the most common are the Eastern subterranean termite, Arid Land subterranean termite and the western subterranean termite. Formosan termites are also a species of subterranean termite that are common in areas of Louisiana, Texas and you guessed it – Florida. Since you live more than 500 miles from the gulf coast, it is likely that your termites are subterranean.
Lenny’s Pest Control has a team of experts that specialize in Southwest Florida Pest Control inside and outside of your home or business. With over 50 years experience we are Southwest Florida’s #1 choice for tackling any kind of bug, pest, rodent or insect in your living or working space. Don’t try to fix it yourself, let the experts handle all of your pest control problems! We proudly service the Lee, Charlotte and Collier Counties. Call us at 239-945-6543 or contact us to get a quote today!
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We would love to come out to your home or business and inspect your property, give you an estimate and get your protected from pest, termites or lawn problems. Please give us a call at 239-945-6543 for all your pest control needs in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral or any Southwest Florida area.