One of the most feared summer pests are termites due to their destructive nature. As fall rolls in, many homeowners anticipate the upcoming winter season in the hope they seek relief from this pest. Many people believe termites hibernate or migrate. Neither are very accurate. Not to disturb Texan homeowners, but the local termite species are able to remain active all year long. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control will share what species of termites can still be chewing away even with the cold winter temperatures and how you can protect your home from termites all year long.
Do Subterranean Termites Die in Winter?
Despite Texas’ bitter cold winters, termites remain active. One of the most common species of termites found in Texas is the subterranean termite family. This species will dig deep underground to avoid the icy surface during the winter season. However, if a termite colony has been established and they have found a food source, they will continue foraging during the winter season. Termites are very sensitive and can feel the slightest change in temperatures. They use this ability to help them navigate and create tunnels through the soil. As a result they can create safe passageways to a known foraging sight. As long as the foraging site is close enough to their nest, they will continue to feed regardless of the season. In an urban environment year round foraging easily provides termites with heating systems making a home or building a nice warm shelter. The Subterranean termite nest can go eighteen inches underground and many subterranean termites will access homes using the foundation. Often they will discover a crack in a foundation of a home leading them right inside. The foundation of homes provide protection and a gateway into the home from underground tunnels or from the side. Another common invasion point for subterranean termites are cracked walls in basements. Homes with basements often see termite activity in the basement before they see it in the upper levels.
Termites are Active All Year Round
During the spring, subterranean termite queens and kings will mate. The king dies shortly after. The female will seek a secure location with plenty of food to begin her colony. If a female chooses your home as her nesting site, you may not notice the colony until late summer or fall. By fall, the colony is well established and can continue to affect an area all year long. However, it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 years for a colony to fully mature which means their presence can go unnoticed. Termites are still a major problem for homes all year around which is why it is important to keep a close eye out, even in fall and winter.
Early Signs of Termites
Termites can easily go unnoticed. However some signs may appear early on. Keep an eye out for saw dust piles around the outside or inside of the home. Your home ceiling may even develop mini stalactites that look like a combination of mud and saw dust. Subterranean termites will also build mud like tunnels on the ground or going up walls. Both can be found outside or inside. You can also see odd patterns in wood that are often created by termites. In some cases a pieces of wood may seem hollow and flexible. These are some of the common signs of termites. If you believe termites are inside your home, contact a pest control company to send out a professional inspector.