“This is a block home, so I don’t need to worry about a termite inspection”
The above statement is a very common misconception.
We often hear “this is a block home so I don’t need to worry about a termite inspection” when scheduling inspections for future homeowners. We certainly want to honor and respect their opinion but, let us offer some additional considerations.
Termites are creative and ingenious!
Termites love water and wood, and they will go through any means they can to attain these two things. They can burrow into the tiniest of openings. In fact, they can get into openings as small as 1/32nd of an inch! Given enough time, they can consume every last piece of wood that can be found in your home.
For example, a plumbing leak in your kitchen, bathroom or washing machine lines can provide a super highway for them to travel from the exterior of your home to a potential food source on the interior. One of the most common pathways we see is when bathroom tiles are not kept sealed or grouted in a shower. Water can get behind the tile and can start to cause problems with the wood behind the shower. Over time the water intrusion behind the tile can provide access to the shower framing for termites.
Another common site is a framed bay window on a concrete block home. Cracks in the stucco, or poor drainage can allow standing water to collect around your home and provide a perfect pathway for termites to gain entry.
Florida’s hot and humid climate is ideal for several species of termites including Drywood and Subterranean termites.
We will focus mainly on subterranean termites in this blog. This species consists of some of the most common and destructive termites. Two types of these are the Eastern subterranean termites and Formosan subterranean termites.
Subterranean termites forage and form nests in soil and damp wood that is in contact with soil. A couple examples would be siding in touch with the ground or mulch that is built up high around your homes’ foundation perimeter. They build mud tubes that extend from the soil up to the wood or any other crack or flow of water that can lead them to a potential food source.
The most severe subterranean termite here in Florida is the Formosan subterranean termite. This termite forms huge colonies, it is extremely aggressive, and destroys wood structures at a rapid rate.
It’s highly destructive traits have earned it the nickname “Super Termite.” You can read more about this termite in a great article written by the University of Florida here.
Subterranean termites’ display an advanced level of social organization (eusocial) in which a single female or caste produces the offspring and non-reproductive individuals cooperate in caring for the young. These typically have three castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductive’s, also called alates or swarmers. Workers are wingless and pale, and soldiers are identified by an enlarged head and long mandibles or “pinchers”. The swarmers are the only form with fully formed wings and eyes. These swarmers can fly to new locations to search for food or even to start new colonies.
How can you protect your investment and home from these destructive pests?
First, hire a licensed and experienced inspector to inspect your home for termites. Second, invest in a subterranean termite prevention plan such as Sentricon Always Active ®. Bait stations are installed in the ground around your home providing you continuous protection and greater peace of mind. It’s like having a termite technician on your property 24/7/365! This is a great video from our partners at Sentricon Always Active ® regarding termites, their colony’s and behavior.
Should you have any questions about protecting your investment, or would like a quote for protection, email our Pest Pro’s! PestPros@HonorServices.com.
We are always happy to answer any questions even if you aren’t currently using us for pest prevention. It is of course, the #HonorWay.
Director, Pest Prevention
About the Author:
Jacob Morehouse has six years of experience in the customer care and pest prevention business and he has completed the Master of Termite Management program offered by The University of Florida/Pest Management University. If you have any questions about termites, feel free to reach out to him!