Seven Termite Protection Tips For West Palm Beach Property Owners
July 09, 2020
If you know anything about termites, you know that they build their colonies beneath buildings and feast on properties over time. That being said, West Palm Beach might seem like an unlikely place for termites to reside, since the area is so close to sea level and probably has little to offer for pests like these. This is a common assumption, and it makes sense, but the truth is, termites are just as much of a problem in West Palm Beach, FL as they are in the rest of the country.
Do you think termites have gotten under your home, or are you worried about an infestation making its way to your property? Here's a guide what termites are and how to prevent them.
Termite Identification Tips
Termites are often mistaken as a species of ant, and although termites and ants are different insects, they do share some similarities.
Termites typically grow between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch in length and have brown or cream-colored bodies. They have six legs, two short antennae, and two pincers near their mouths. Some termites also have wings, but you will almost never see a termite flying, and these pests much prefer to burrow underground than fly about.
The reason these pests create colonies beneath homes is that they rely on the wood in your house for food. Termites feed on cellulose, a complex carbohydrate found in objects like wood. These pests create tunnels underground to reach homes. Overtime they break down the structural integrity of the home as they feed their entire colony. The colony itself can extend deep underground, with the queen termite very well protected, making it hard to remove a colony once it forms.
When termites invade your property, they are very difficult to get rid of, which is why prevention is much more preferable to the years of extensive home damage these insects can quietly cause. Here’s how you can keep termites out of your West Palm Beach property.
Termite Prevention Tips
- Address moisture issues. Termites feed on moist, soft, or decaying wood, and areas like your crawlspace or foundation can trap moisture, especially in humid Florida. Replace any water-damaged wood, and control any standing water around the house.
- Move water drains away from your property. The further any standing water is, the less likely water-damaged wood will attract termites.
- Repair rotting wood. This is especially common in areas like your home’s fascia, soffits, and roof shingles.
- Reduce soil-to-structure contact. Termites will colonize your property if anything with cellulose is touching the soil of your property. Remove foliage, wood piles, paper, and cardboard from the ground, and try to create a barrier between the soil and any wooden part of your house. Only the concrete should touch the soil.
- If you have any cellulose-bearing materials in storage, such as firewood, keep it at least 20 feet away from your house.
- Keep plants away from your home’s exterior. This is another cellulose attraction that can lead to home decay.
- Turn outdoor lights off during swarming season (March-April). Swarming season is the period when reproductive termites (swarmers) leave the nest and create new colonies. Swarmers are attracted to lights, and therefore more likely to settle down near your house if those lights stay on.
- Additionally, monitor the soil around your property regularly. If you see irregular holes or tunnels in the dirt, or if you notice bubbling paint, creaky floorboards, or sagging ceilings, you likely have a termite problem.
- Finally, termites can burrow for years before you notice them feasting away on your property. This is why a regular inspection from a pest professional is so important. Whether you’ve noticed the signs of an infestation or want to take the extra step towards West Palm Beach termite control and prevention, contact the termite experts at Native Pest Management. We’ll make sure your home remains pest-free, keeping your house – one of your biggest assets – safe and secure.