What Do Common Termite Species Found in Florida Look Like?
If the thought of getting termites send shivers down your spine, you’re certainly not alone. When left unchecked, a termite infestation can cause damage that results in thousands of dollars in needed repairs.
Many homeowners don’t know what termites look like in Florida because they often stay hidden. Today, we’re going to go over what these wood-eating insects look like along with some other basic information that we think you’ll find helpful.
Three Types of Termites Found in Florida
Before we get into the nitty gritty of what termites look like in Florida, it’s important to understand that there are three types of termite species that are typically found in the state.
Here’s a brief description of each type that you may come across:
- Subterranean termites — By far the most common termites, the subterranean species requires a great deal of moisture to survive. These types of termites construct mud tubes which act as conduits that connect their nest to a food source.
- Drywood termites — You typically find drywood termites in higher places such as your attic, but they’re also known to be found under wooden floorboards. They don’t need as much moisture as their subterranean cousins and will often weaken support beams if left unchecked.
- Dampwood termites — These termites are the largest of the three species found in Florida and often infest wood such as logs, stumps, dead trees, etc. To keep them away from your home, remove any dead wood or decaying fence posts, which may also attract them.
Termite identification is important because you need to know if you have an infestation on your property. Once you learn what termites look like, you can determine whether or not it’s time to call an exterminator. First, let’s look at the main physical attributes of all termites:
- Size varies from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch
- Color varies from dark brown to off-white
- Segmented body: head, thorax, and abdomen
- Six legs and antennae
- Swarmer termites have wings
Now that we know the basics of what termites look like in Florida, let’s also take a look at their appearance by species found in the state:
- Subterranean termites — These termites typically appear somewhere between off-white to gray/black.
- Drywood termites — Mostly found as yellow to brown, they also have transparent wings.
- Dampwood termites — This species has a reddish tint to its body, making it easy to recognize.
Warning Signs of a Termite Infestation
Even though you may know what termites look like, that might not do you a lot of good if they stay hidden. Luckily, there are some easily recognizable warning signs that you may have an infestation.
Here are the things to be on the lookout for with termites:
- Discarded Wings — Termites swarm in the spring and will often leave behind discarded wings near warm, well-lit areas. This means that they’re often found in the vicinity of closed doors and windows.
- Mud Structures/Tubes — As the name indicates, these conduits are made of mud and are used for transport and cover. They will lead from the colony to the food source.
- Termite Swarms — When termites swarm in the spring, you may actually end up seeing some of them.
- Hollow Wood — As termites eat the wood in your home, they’ll hollow it out. Knocking on wood and finding it hollow is a dead giveaway that the problem is very serious.
- Peeling/Bubbling Paint — When wood beneath paint has been disturbed by termites, it may either cause peeling or bubbling to occur. This is often one of the first indicators that there’s a termite infestation because it’s often very noticeable.
- Termite Droppings — Termite feces have the appearance of either coffee grounds or sawdust and will typically be in a small pile. This is another of the most common warning signs that lead homeowners to suspect that they’re dealing with an infestation.
Why You Should Call Termite Professionals
Even once you realize what termites look like, it’s important that you don’t try to get rid of them on your own. If you try do-it-yourself efforts and fail, this could lead to severe damage to your home that could get very costly. At the first sign of an infestation or even if you are simply suspicious that there are termites on your property, call professional termite exterminators to take care of the problem right away.
Contact ProHealth Pest Control to Termite Control in Florida
Now that you know what termites look like in Florida, it’s time to call the professionals. ProHealth Pest Control can assist you with eliminating termites and termite control along with any other pests in your home or business. If you have any questions about our pest control services or would like to set up an appointment, call us at (727) 308-2543 today.