The Different Options for Treating a Termite Infestation
An unfortunate reality of owning a home in Florida is that it’s very likely at some point, ownership involves dealing with a termite infestation. Several termite varieties call Florida home. When allowed to live (and eat) unnoticed, termites are one of the most destructive pests. Within the United States as a whole, these insects and the damage they cause cost residents an estimated $5 billion annually. Because of Florida’s climate, termites pose a problem year-round. In colder regions, the pests are much less active in winter (although not completely dormant).
The Types of Termites in Florida
Before discussing treatment options, it’s important to distinguish the different types of termites that commonly call Florida home. Subterranean termites are by far, the most destructive of the bunch. This rings true because this variety and its colonies often go unnoticed for longer periods – causing exponential structural damage as the colonies grow. A distinctive feature of subterranean termites is their means of finding food sources – creating and traveling via tunnels (“mud tubes”). Termites eat around the clock. As they build these tunnels, they ingest the wood around them and cause structural vulnerabilities that often lead to serious issues for homeowners.
Dampwood termites, as their name suggests, prefer to live and eat in damp places or areas of high humidity. This tendency means wood exposed to water (via leaks, damp soil, etc.) is especially vulnerable to damage. There are already many reasons to fix any leaks or other causes of standing water in the home, but termite prevention can be added to the list. Dampwood termites are the largest in size of the termites living in Florida and their impact is often amplified when living in conjunction with decaying fungi in an area.
Drywood termites prefer non-decaying wood that is not exposed to moisture. They do not burrow through the soil like subterranean termites. Colonies of drywood termites often inhabit a home initially when a swarming member of the colony finds and enters through a crack or opening in the structure. Termites don’t need much space either. They can enter through spaces nearly undetectable to humans – as small as a 1/32 of an inch. So, it’s a critical part of smart homeownership to address any cracks or open crevices quickly once noticed.
Treatment Options for a Termite Infestation
The ideal treatment for a termite infestation varies and depends on a few factors, including:
- Type of Termite
- Location and Severity of the Infestation
- Building Configuration
Knowing which treatment or combination of efforts to apply is something that takes years of experience and training. A local pest control technician or team of experts is likely the best option for selecting and implementing the most effective option. DIY is possible for a variety of home issues, but a termite or other wood-destroying organism (WDO) infestation isn’t one of them.
Liquid termiticides, like Termidor®, can be applied to the soil around your home and serve as a barrier. This type of solution is classified as a non-repellent as it is undetectable to pests. Termites unknowingly burrow into the treated area and are later killed by the chemical – allowing the insecticide to make a big impact if it reaches a large number of termites in a colony. While extremely effective, Termidor® requires an application from a trained professional to keep it safe and successful. The team at Knockout Pest Control is not only highly trained in the specific termites that inhabit Florida homes and businesses, but they are also Termidor® certified on product application.
The use of repellent termiticides has decreased significantly with the availability of highly-effective non-repellent solutions. With repellent termiticides, soil in the area is treated with the chemical which then either kills termites upon contact or repels them away. While very effective if and when termites make contact, these types of solutions are hard to apply in a way that’s thorough enough to reach all potential entry points to the home.
Termiticides work to prevent termites from entering a home’s structure, but what about existing infestations inside? A professional pest control team often combines a non-repellent like Termidor with bait stations to kill existing termite colonies. Inside these stations is what termites perceive as a food source, encouraging them to collect it and disburse it among their colonies – including the king and queen. That “food” will kill the termites once they ingest it, making these bait stations highly effective if placed well.
Misting systems are another pest control tool in our arsenal. Not often used on their own, these systems are often a smart addition to the efforts already mentioned for ensuring a comprehensive termite treatment.
Local Termite Elimination Experts in Jacksonville
Treating a termite infestation is a complex process that is best tackled from several angles. Knowing the right combination of elimination and prevention efforts to implement is something that requires years of experience and local knowledge of the pest ecosystem. The team at Knockout Pest Control brings that experience and expertise and combines it with a commitment to excellence when it comes to pest prevention and management. Because of that commitment, we’ve been honored to serve both home and business owners in the Jacksonville area for over thirty years.
Whether you want to ensure your home (or potential home) is termite-free with a comprehensive inspection, investigate or team an existing infestation, or simply want to ensure you are taking proactive steps to limit any future pest issues, the Knockout team would love to help. Contact us today to get started!