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What are termites?

Living in Florida comes with many perks, but one thing we could all do without is the three different species of termites we have to guard our properties against; Eastern subterranean termites, Formosan termites, and drywood termites.

Termites are insects that convert cellulose into a usable food source. Their dietary needs are met by feeding on wood and other vegetation.

Each species of termite in our area is capable of causing damage inside our homes by feeding on its structural wood or other wooden items found inside. Termites are committed to feeding their colonies and are constantly searching for appropriate food sources. If your home supplies them with food, they will keep returning day after day.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites live together in small colonies. What they lack in size, they make up for inefficiency. Drywood termites feed slowly, but when they finish feeding on a piece of wood, all that is left is a thin exterior shell. Drywood termites prefer to feed on dry, sound pieces of wood. 

Eastern subterranean termites

Eastern subterranean termites have large colonies with hundreds of thousands of members. These termites cause most of the damage that termites are known for each year because they are the most widespread termite species. These termites have high moisture needs and prefer to feed on water-damaged or decaying wood. 

Formosan termites

Formosan termites are also a type of subterranean termite and live in massive colonies with millions of termites working together like a well-oiled machine. Due to their large colony size and aggressive feeding habits, they cause a lot of damage in a short period of time. Like other subterranean termites, Formosan termites prefer to feed on decaying wood.

termite swarms in the dirt

Are termites dangerous?

Termites are some of the most difficult pests that homeowners regularly contend with in Florida. Termites aren't aggressive, they don't bite or sting us, and they don't even want to eat the same foods we do, but termites are dangerous to have in our homes.

Interestingly enough, though termites don't eat the same foods we do, it's their feeding habits that cause them to be very dangerous when they invade our homes. When termites find a way into our homes, they will quickly locate a suitable food source and begin feeding.

Unfortunately, termites eat through structural wood, wooden floors, panels, and furniture. The damage termites cause can become quite costly to repair and is not something most homeowners' insurance will cover. Termites not only cause damage to our Tampa, FL homes but also our bank accounts.

Why do I have a termite problem?

Termites typically live outside and, depending on their species, nest underground (subterranean termites) or in the wood that they are feeding on (drywood termites). In nature, termites aren't problematic; they help eliminate decaying wood and other organic vegetation. 

Termites become a problem for people when they find their way into our homes. Each species of termite can find its way inside in a different way.

  • Drywood termites usually enter a home through infested wood such as flooring or wooden furniture that homeowners bring inside. 
  • Eastern subterranean termites move inside on their own through cracks in the foundation or pieces of wood, making contact with the ground. 
  • Formosan termites move indoors at ground level or exterior walls.

Once inside, termites will feed round the clock, causing more and more damage each day. Termites are not a problem you want to ignore!

Where will I find termites?

Eastern subterranean termites and Formosan termites do not nest within the wood they feed on. They build their nests in the soil, and the workers travel back and forth from the nest to their food sources.

Formosan termites are unique because they also create nests above the ground. Their aerial carton nests are usually placed on the rooftops of buildings or between wall voids. 

Inside our homes, Eastern subterranean termites and Formosan termites are most commonly found feasting upon pieces of structural wood located near sources of moisture. The wood behind walls located near pipes, sinks, windows, and air conditioners is especially susceptible to damage by these termites.

Drywood termites are tough to prevent because we often bring them into our homes unintentionally inside already infested wood. Drywood termites like to feed on sound, dry wood like lumber, wooden beams, flooring, and antique furniture. They will invade utility poles, wooden furniture, decks, and fences outside.

How do I get rid of termites?

For help ridding your home and property of wood-eating termites, reach out to the professionals at Haskell Termite & Pest Control. We are proud to be the largest family owned and operated pest control company in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. We understand how problematic termites are in our area and how to meet the unique needs of Florida property owners.

Since 1992 we have provided our customers with effective termite control treatments and follow-up services. Don't wait another day to begin protecting your home against wood-eating termites! Call today to learn about our home termite control options, warranties, and guarantees.

How can I prevent termites in the future?

Preventing problems with destructive termites is best done by partnering with a professional. In addition to our effective termite control services, the following strategies will help make your property less attractive to termites:

  • Store wood away from the outside walls of your home.
  • Remove fallen trees, limbs, and tree stumps from your yard.
  • Reduce excess moisture by ensuring your yard has good drainage, your gutters work properly, and you repair any leaky pipes.
  • Lower humidity levels in your home by using dehumidifiers.
  • Prevent rainwater from seeping into your home and damaging structural wood by repairing roof damage, fixing damaged weatherstripping around windows and doors, and damaged siding.

Termites are not pests you can ignore. If you need help eliminating a current termite infestation or would like to prevent future problems with these pests, we can help!

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Customer Reviews

Efficient, effective and trustworthy. After using them, I paid the annual insurance in case the drywood termites came back. When they did come back, Haskell promptly re-tented the house - no arguing, no cost to me.

Greg S 
- Tampa, FL | Read Review
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