When Do Termites Start to Become Active?
Termites can be a serious problem. Unlike some pests, they are more than just a nuisance. They can cause damage to property, and once they are in a home, they are difficult to remove. To make things worse, when termites infest a home, they often leave behind no immediate signs of the damage that they are causing. By the time things become obviously apparent, the damage could be extensive.
If you want to protect your home from termites, it helps to know a little bit about them. After doing so, you can do more to prevent infestation and damage.
To start, let’s go over the basics about termites. The first thing to understand is that there are many different types, but they have some characteristics in common.
The primary diet of termites consists of dead trees and plants. They will eat things like wood, leaf litter, dead plants, and animal waste. Termites will thrive in a habitat that has an abundance of dead plant-based material.
Depending on the type of termite, the habitat in which they live will differ. Termites can live in fallen trees, tree stumps, wooden structures, and some live in soil. The subterranean varieties are the types of termites that are most common in the United States.
Termites can live anywhere humans do, and their effect can be economically significant. These insects can destroy a wooden structure from the inside-out, and this leads to millions of dollars worth of damage every year.
The level of termite activity depends on the temperature of their environment. They generally try to avoid foraging in areas that are either too hot or too cold, so their activity varies depending on the season.
Since the ideal temperature for most species of termites ranges between 75-100° F, they are usually more active during the warmer months of the year. That said, if you live in a place where the winters are mild, termite activity can be fairly steady throughout the year.
Termites will be most active when daytime temperatures are regularly above 70°F and when nighttime temperatures rarely dip below 60°F.
The reason for this change in activity is because termites are cold-blooded. With an inability to produce their own body heat, they are highly sensitive to cold temperatures. This has a serious impact on termites that build their colonies in the ground. To escape the freezing temperatures, they will dig deeper into the soil.
Even in the winter, termites can find everything that they need to survive in your home. If you want to prevent damage at any time of the year, there are some preventative steps that you can take.
- Eliminate Moisture: First, you need to deprive the termites of any water source that they may have in the home. Fix leaking faucets and pipes, maintain your gutters, and take steps to prevent water from pooling up around the foundation of your home.
- Remove Food Sources: Next, you want to make sure that they do not have any food. If you have a woodpile, move it away from the home. If you have any stumps or plant-based detritus, have it removed. If you have a wooden deck or fence, check it for signs of termite damage.
- Look for Signs: Finally, you want to look for the signs of termite infestation. Termite droppings can be one of the obvious signs. Look for mud tubes near the house or on the wood in your crawlspace. Another sign is the discarded wings from swarmers, or the sudden but temporary swarm of winged insects in or around the home.
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When Do Termites Start to Become Active? In Louisiana & Mississippi
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