Category Archives: Termites Current Events

When is Termite Season?

While termites in Florida are often noticed during swarming activity it’s important to know that termite season and termite colonies are always active.  Proactive year-round treatment will reduce the potential for damage to your home and trees.  Prevention vs. Damage Repair will save money in the long run.

What does a termite look like 1
What do termites look like?

Homeowners often think that because they don’t see termites swarming in the air, that it’s not termite season. This is a HUGE mistake.  Termite colonies are active year-round and can enter a home from their subterranean colony at any time and do some serious damage.  This invasion often occurs without the awareness of the homeowner.

“The termite problem is changing in Florida. With some invasive species spreading, we are entering a new norm in terms of potential termite damage” said Thomas Chouvenc, an assistant professor of urban entomology at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie. Chouvenc specializes in termite biology and pest control. “Florida’s year-round, warm climate has allowed three invasive termite species to thrive, cause structural damage to our homes and property, while some species are now having a concerning impact on our urban tree canopy.”

It’s important to know that treatment for termites depends on which termite species is present.  Knowing which type of termite is invading your property determines the type of treatment that will be most effective.

“Monitoring for termite activity and damage is a critical first step to early detection and preventing damage to trees and houses.”, Chouvenc said. “There are currently two primary ways to protect a structure against subterranean termites: baits or liquid termiticides.”

Liquid termiticides like Termidor® is one alternative for treating termites.  A crucial advantage Termidor® has over many other products is that it doesn’t repel termites.

Termites are able to detect the older chemicals in the soil and stay away from them. That means the termites remain active and unaffected, still exploring the area and potentially looking for ways into your home.

Termites can’t detect Termidor® so, as they continue to forage through the soil, they unknowingly come into contact with Termidor®.  Termidor® kills termites through contact and ingestion.

Formosan Termites in Trees
Formosan Termites in old oak trees, Jacksonville FL

Another option for termite treatment is Bait.  Bait, if used properly, eliminates colonies which are able to feed on trees and property.  The Sentricon® Always Active Termite Elimination System uses bait stations installed around the parameter of the home

Sentricon® takes advantage of natural termite behavior. Worker termites constantly forage far and wide, looking for wood to feed their colony. When they find food, like the monitoring device in a Sentricon® bait station, they leave special scent trails to summon their nestmates to the food source.

Sentricon installation
Installation of the Sentricon® Always Active bait station.

This process is designed to kill the members of the colony, including the queen who is capable of laying millions of eggs in her lifetime.

In conclusion, whether you chose Termidor® or Sentricon®, year round termite monitoring and treatment is essential in the Northeast Florida area. The professionals at Peninsular Pest Control will inspect your home and make a recommendation as to the type of treatment that will be best suited to your particular situation.

How to treat Formosan Termites

Formosan Termites are active in Jacksonville, FL

Formosan Termites in Trees

Subterranean Formosan Termite treatment
Formosan Termite Treatment using Sentricon

Damage

The Formosan subterranean termite generally invades structures from the ground. They commonly enter through expansion joints, cracks, and utility conduits in slabs. Any wood-to-ground contact is an inviting entrance for Formosan subterranean termite infestations. On some occasions, however, Formosan subterranean termite can form colonies that are not connected to ground, called aerial colonies. If a pair of alates successfully finds suitable conditions, i.e., adequate food and moisture sources in a building, they can initiate a colony with no ground connection. The flat roofs of high-rise buildings, because they always pool rainwater, are ideal places for the subterranean termite to initiate aerial infestations if portals of entry are found.

Studies also found that Formosan subterranean termites attack many species of living plants. The subterranean termite attacks structural lumbers and living plants because they are sources of cellulose. However, this termite is also known to attack non-cellulose materials such as plaster, plastic, asphalt, and thin sheets of soft metal (lead or copper) in search of food and moisture. Their highly publicized ability to penetrate solid concrete is a fallacy. However, the termite is persistent in finding small cracks in concrete, which they enlarge and use as foraging routes.

Rich Jones from WOKV talks about Treating Formosan Subterranean Termites

Treatment

One way to treat Formosan Termites is with The Sentricon® Always Acitve baiting system. The Sentricon® Termite System takes advantage of natural termite behavior. Worker termites constantly forage far and wide, looking for wood to feed their colony. When they find food, like the monitoring device in a Sentricon® station, they leave special scent trails to summon their nestmates to the food source.

How does Sentricon work?

Sentricon Termite installation
Subterranean Termites

Many homeowners have seen the green disk-like traps around the parameter of homes and some may realize they are there to protect from termites. But, not many know how the Sentricon Always Active Termite system works.

This video will show you the basics in less than 1 minute: