What Does Termite Damage in Port St. Lucie Look Like?
April 1, 2022
Port St. Lucie, FL is a city that is becoming very popular as a retirement destination. Unfortunately, as the population and number of houses in the area are rapidly growing, so is the amount of termites in the area.
One of the most common pests that plague Port St. Lucie, FL homes and businesses are termites. In fact, Formosan and Asian termite infestations increased by a whopping 30% between 2014 and 2019. The invasive Formosan termites, also known as "super termites" due to their ability to rapidly damage wood, are quickly spreading north from the Miami, FL area into Port St. Lucie.
Termites can be hard to spot until they’ve caused damage extensive property damage to your wooden structures. Oftentimes, the presence of termites within a home is unknown until the termites start swarming during their reproductive mating season. Most people don't realize though that it takes a termite colony three to five years to produce these termite swarmers. So by the time they are identified, they've usually already been causing wood damage for years.
Spotting termites or termite evidence early is the first step to effective termite control, and it can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in wood repairs.
In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to know about termite infestations and how to identify termite damage in Port St. Lucie, FL.
Termites Damage Wood
Termites feed on wood, as it’s one of their primary food sources. They quickly move through wood structures and wood surfaces to create tunnels and chambers. They’ll continue to eat wood throughout your home, including siding, railings, decks, door frames, attic trusses, beams, floors, wood furniture and ceilings. You can often find evidence of them near entry doors and window frames.
Many people falsely assume that because their home has a concrete foundation, that they are protected from subterranean termite damage. Termites excel at finding wood, and they will regularly enter a home through small cracks in concrete foundations, and work they way upwards into the walls and up to the wood in the attic.
Formosan termites have colonies that are so large, they may consume up to one to three pounds of wood per day in an average sized home.
How to Spot Termite Damage in Port St. Lucie, FL
Minor termite damage is hard to spot, which is why most people do not recognize it until the damage is extensive. Also, you can't always see the damage until subterranean termites tunnel through drywall and make themselves apparent.
Ultimately, termite damage looks similar to water damage. Here are some key differences that signify a termite infestation:
- Where is the damage? If it looks like water damage but is in a spot unlikely to have water damage, then it may be from termites.
- Does it sound hollow when you tap? This is a sign of the termites tunnels that termites leave in the wood grain.
- Do you see evidence of termites, like wings, mud tubes, or termite frass? While you may not be able to see inside of the wood, you may be able to see the evidence termites leave behind
Is it Wood Rot or Termite Damage?
Termite damage can also look like wood rot. Wood rot is caused by an active fungal growth. Contrary to popular belief, it does not need high moisture content to occur, as it can be either wet rot or dry rot. Wood rot attacks the wood’s cellulose, just like termites. So, how can you tell the difference?
If the wood feels spongy or crumbly, then it is likely wet wood rot. On the other hand, if it feels dry and comes off in chunks, it can be dry wood rot.
If it instead feels hollow and you can see tunnels, then termites are likely the culprit. You may also be able to use a probing tool like a knife or a screwdriver to poke at the affected wood and be able to see if live termites or evidence of termites like frass is inside the wood.
Other Signs of Termites
Identifying termite damage early on is very challenging. However, you should keep an eye out for other signs of termite damage or termite infestation in Port St. Lucie, FL. Some warning signs to watch for include:
Termite Mud Tubes in Port St. Lucie
Mud tubes are tell-tale signs of subterranean termites. These termites will only leave the ground via wood tunnels. So, what they do is bring “the ground” with them in the form of mud tubes. Mud tubes are a nasty concoction of soil, mud, digested wood, and termite waste.
You may be able to spot these on the exterior of your home. Termites build them from the ground up so they can access the softwood. Assess your concrete foundation, flooring, and other exposed surfaces. They look flat, and roughly the width of a pencil, and they are spread out along the walls.
Termite Wings in Port St. Lucie
Property damage isn’t the only signal of a termite infestation. While it may be hard to spot a termite, you may be able to find its wings, because there are flying termites.
Subterranean termites do have wings. After the “alates” mate or exit the mating season, they discard their wings. You may be able to find piles of wings near a termite mound or termite nest if the infestation is bad enough.
These alates like warmth and light, so they often hang out around light fixtures, vents, window sills, etc. Check these areas for termite wings. If you find some, then you may have termite colonies on your property.
Termite Droppings in Port St. Lucie
Drywood termites also leave “frass,” or wood termite droppings. They resemble sawdust and the termites push them out of the nesting tunnels to keep them clean.
Professional Termite Control in Port St. Lucie, FL
If you’ve noticed any of the signs of termite damage, or fear that you may have a termite infestation in Port St. Lucie, FL, Native Pest Management is here to help.
Our experienced team offers the best pest control in South Florida, including termite control. We offer a wide range of services to handle many types of termites, so we can help you get a pest-free property.
With over 2000 five star reviews across Google, Yelp, Nextdoor, Facebook, Angie's List and HomeAdvisor, we are confident we can quickly remove termites from your home and keep them out for good. As winners of the 2021 Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for Ethics, we'll be there when you need us most as all of our termite control treatments include a termite warranty that is transferrable to anyone that buys your home.
Our termite control services include a full free inspection to identify and assess any potential termite activity or conducive conditions that may attract termites. Then, we use industry-leading methods and products for an effective termite treatment.
Now is the time to rid your Port St. Lucie home of termites for good. Call us today to schedule your free termite inspection!