What Attracts Termites & How To Prevent Them

What Attracts Termites

Spoiler Alert, the type of perfume, cologne or air fresheners that are being used in your home is not what attracts termites!

Termites do not purposely destroy your property; although it may seem this way. In fact, termites play a vital role in our ecosystems. Their primary food source is cellulose, which can be found in wood and wood byproducts. In short, this is what attracts termites to your home. In a perfect world, termites would only eat fallen trees, leaf litter, and dead root systems. Therefore, helping Mother Nature by turning rotting wood and decaying brush into soil. Like nature’s cleaning machines! Unfortunately, that’s not always the way it happens. 

“Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage, which is more like $6.8 billion when you adjust for current inflation. These heavy costs are not typically covered by homeowners’ insurance policies and instead come right out of the property owner’s pocket,” – Cindy Mannes, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for NPMA.

Termites can’t tell the difference between a rotting log and your wood deck that might have a little water damage. They’re just as likely to eat the wood in your home as they are trees in the forest. 

What Attracts Termites

Types Of Termites in Florida

To understand what attracts termites to our property, you need to understand their preferred living environments. Easier said than done, considering there are 21 species of termites in Florida! Thankfully, these species can be divided into three primary habitat classifications. 

Subterranean Termites: As their name implies, subterranean termites live in colonies they build underground. They build mud tubes to connect their nest to their wooden food sources. They are the most destructive since you usually won’t notice them until damage has occurred. 

Dampwood Termites: Moist wood attracts dampwood termites.. This might include a leaky roof, rotten decking, decaying logs laying in your yard or even wooden landscaping features that are exposed to irrigation systems and therefore often moist. 

Drywood Termites: These pests don’t live underground like the other two species. Instead, they live in trees or other wooden structures. The moisture they need comes from the air. In Florida, the humidity rarely drops below 70%.  This is why Florida attracts drywood termites in droves! 

Warning Signs of Termites in Florida

Termites are difficult to detect since they live underground or hidden inside wood. You may never know termites are munching away on your property until significant damage is done. By the time you see any actual termites, you’re probably dealing with a full-blown infestation. However, during the spring and summer months termites leave their colonies to reproduce and establish new nests – a.k.a. termite swarming. That’s when you’ll notice new termite activity and often the presence of these wood-loving insects inside your home.

In warm, damp months, winged reproductive termites have the perfect conditions to leave their home colony to mate and establish new colonies. These reproductive termites – alates, lose their wings after mating. Therefore if you see them or their discarded wings near or inside your home you should seek a professional termite control service in Florida.

What Attracts Termites To My Home?

Dampness and wood attracts termites. For this reason, it is vital to remove any moist wood from around your home to discourage an infestation. Here are our tips to keep termites from infesting your property:

  • Don’t store firewood or untreated lumber near your house. 
  • Don’t let mulch touch your home’s foundation. Consider using rock or stone instead.
  • Keep trees well-maintained. Trim and remove unruly or compromised branches.
  • Keep wood siding off the ground by at least four inches. A brick or stone skirt on your home is one way to add curb appeal and keep siding from touching the soil..  
  • Ensure you have proper drainage leading away from your home. Do not allow water sto stand or pool near your foundation. 
  • Fix leaks so water doesn’t saturate the wood in your roof or siding, near windows or doors.

Signs Of A Termite Infestation in Florida

You may never see a termite until the damage becomes evident. These insects are great at playing hide and seek. You may notice a few tell-tale signs that will clue you into a problem. 

  • Mud tubes where the soil and your home’s foundation meet
  • Frass—the fine, powdery wood waste left behind 
  • Swarming termites – these can look like small flying ants
  • Discarded wings – usually around windows or doors 
  • warped or blistered wood 

Professional Termite Prevention in Central Florida

Since termites are difficult to spot, it’s best to have a prevention plan in place. Remember, the best offense is a great defense! Our termite control technicians are trained in the best termite inspection, prevention and termination methods. At Superior Spray Service we use the Termatrac system to inspect your home. If no signs of termites are found we treat your home with the highest rated termite defense products and back our work with a $300,000 guarantee. However, if we do find signs of termite activity, rest assured we will do everything we can to minimize further damage to your home while eradicating the infestation.

Don’t wait to contact us if you suspect termite activity. Quick treatment means less damage to your home and the faster the termites are out for good! Call us at (833) 682-0700 for service anywhere in Central and Northwest Florida including Lakeland, Orlando, Tampa, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Milton and Pensacola.