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Everything You Need to Know about Termites in Florida

May 23, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Few other household pests can cause homeowners as much stress as termites. Florida termites include several species that thrive in our hot and humid climate, making them a common problem throughout the state. If you suspect you’re dealing with a termite infestation or want to get ahead of a potential problem, read this article to learn everything you need to know about termite season in Florida—and how to get rid of them.

Types of termites in Florida 

Florida’s high humidity and warm temperatures make it an ideal habitat for several types of termites. The state is home to three main types of termites with unique habits and preferences.

Subterranean termites 

Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite in Florida — and one of the most destructive to homes. Subterranean termites live in colonies that include workers, soldiers, and reproductive termites, also known as swarmers. 

Reproductive termites are the only flying termites in Florida, and they can fly to new locations to start new colonies. Subterranean termites typically form nests in soil or damp wood in contact with soil, building mud tubes that run from the soil to the wood’s interior. This termite species destroys nearly everything in its path, eating materials that contain cellulose, dead or rotting wood, paper, cotton, and plant fibers.

Close up of a Subterranean termite in the dirt
Subterranean Termite

Drywood termites

Drywood termites are also common throughout Florida but do not nest in soil like their Subterranean counterparts. These termites flourish inside wooden structures. Drywood termites are very difficult to detect, living deep inside wooden structures and out of sight from humans. They’re typically discovered when they swarm or when repair and remodeling work is done on an infested home.

Close up of two drywood termites eating wood
Drywood Termite

Dampwood termites

The last type of termite typically found in Florida is the dampwood termite. Dampwood termites are drawn to high humidity, making them particularly common in southern Florida, especially the Keys. An infestation occurs when there is wood-to-soil contact or when wood is in constant contact with water, such as an unseen leak or standing water. This species is larger than both drywood and subterranean termites.

When do termites swarm in Florida?

Most termite colonies swarm in the afternoons between March and May. The western drywood termite can be found swarming on both coasts in Florida. 

Although March through May is their peak season, swarming termites have been reported every month in Florida except December. Southeastern drywood termites typically swarm at night during spring months.

Group of termite swarmers on a cement floor
Termite Swarmers

Signs of termites in Florida

Termites can cause extensive damage, compromising your home’s strength and safety. Here are a few of the most common signs you have an active termite infestation in your Florida home:

  • Damaged wood: Drywood termites leave piles of wood powder and pellets where they burrow. Dampwood termites attack the structural integrity of the wood, making it soft and brittle. Subterranean termites build nests from soil to timber and fill them with mud tunnels.
  • Swarms: Swarmers are the reproductive termites of a colony. They fly around in large groups looking for places to start new settlements. You’ll most often spot them in coastal areas with high humidity in Florida. Swarmers may leave behind discarded wings near the wooden structures they exit.
  • Shelter tubes: Mud tubes are the structures termites build out of dirt and wood particles. They combine these materials by wetting them with their saliva. Mud tubes are typically found on foundation walls, floor joists, or unfinished attics, allowing the termites to move between nests without dehydrating.

How to get rid of termites in Florida 

All species of termites are difficult to remove without professional assistance and management. Contact a local pest control company immediately if you notice any common signs of a termite infestation in or around your home. Pest control industry experts have extensive knowledge and access to processes and tools not found on the commercial market. 

Pest control services 

If you suspect a termite infestation, hiring a professional pest control service like Hawx Pest Control is the best way to remove them from your household. We offer safe and affordable extermination for your current problems and preventative measures to address threats before they happen. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff uses a three-fold process to provide a treatment plan to suit your needs. Call us today for a free estimate to get your termite problem under control.

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