Termites are one of the worst pests out there for homeowners to deal with.
Unlike larger vermin such as mice, rats, or even other insects, the danger that termites represent is increased because it can be very difficult to tell that they are even present in a home, and often not until it is too late to prevent a lot of the damage that they have caused.
In this article, we will discuss how recent weather has affected termites, what homeowners in the southern U.S. can expect in terms of termites, and what treatment options are out there to deal with termite infestations.
Termites thriving in warmer conditions
The main things that termites need to thrive are warmth and moisture. During the colder parts of the year, termites burrow into the ground in order to escape the cold.
The harsher winter is, the further into the ground the termites have to burrow, and the longer it takes for the ground to thaw. By extension, it also takes the termites much longer to surface.
When the winter is exceptionally mild, like it was this past year, then termites can become active much quicker. Additionally, flooding like we recently experienced has given termites exactly what they need to swarm: warmth and moisture.
Unfortunately, even if your building wasn’t damaged or isn’t in a location known for termite activity, the prime termite conditions may have changed as termites grow more numerous and start looking for new places to feed.
A cautionary tale: southern Florida
Let’s look at an area with weather like ours, but is dealing with a more serious problem. Southern Florida, unfortunately, has prime conditions for termites, and the recent weather patterns have only exacerbated the degree to which termites are comfortable infesting homes.
This is particularly important because the state is home to a large variety of invasive termite species. These include the Formosan subterranean termite, the Asian subterranean termite, and the West Indian dry wood termite.
Each of these species of termite pose a pretty serious threat to homeowners, and the Formosan and Asian subterranean termites cause around $32 billion worth of damage worldwide every year.
Researchers have predicted that Florida is such an ideal location for termites that subterranean termite activity will expand to such a degree that by 2040, half the structures in southern Florida will be at risk of infestation.
Why should this matter to us? The termite species that are affecting Florida homes are already here, and travel and weather patterns are increasing this trend. In other words: Louisiana is next on the menu!
How to prevent infestations
One of the biggest termite prevention methods that people often miss is to remain vigilant even when you aren’t dealing with an infestation.
One of the reasons that termites can cause so much damage is that they often remain undetected until something incidental reveals that they’re present in a home.
Keep an eye on places that they’ll infest first, especially beneath wooden siding or in places where wood is in contact with soil or is dark, warm, and wet.
Other things you can do to prevent termites from spreading into your home is to reduce humidity in crawlspaces and other dark areas, avoid letting moisture accumulate near the foundation, use mulch sparingly, especially near the foundation and, of course, consider having your home professionally treated by pest control experts.
Dugas treatment options
Dugas Pest Control offers comprehensive options for termite prevention and removal in the greater Baton Rouge, New Orleans, St. Tammany, and Lafayette areas. We offer three general services:
- preconstruction treatment
- post-construction treatment
- baiting systems.
Pre and post construction treatments work in the same kind of way. Both of them rely on Termidor, which is a pesticide that was specifically developed to kill termites.
In pre-construction treatments, it’s applied into the foundation of a structure and the soil around it. This provides immediate protection for a building as it is being constructed.
In post construction treatments, it works pretty similarly, except that it is applied directly to the foundation with supplementary treatments in the soil around the foundation.
Finally, baiting systems are an alternative to liquid pesticides like Termidor and they’re used for effective long term protection.
Termites are a scary and potentially costly problem to have to deal with as a homeowner, but like many other pests, they can be dealt with using a bit of forethought and planning.
Whether you live in southern Louisiana or another state with a high termite population, vigilance is the key to stopping termite infestation before they’re allowed to become more expensive and time consuming than they were already.