If you are a homeowner in South Florida, chances are you will encounter termites. These wood-eating pests are capable of causing major damage to your house, which could cost thousands of dollars in repairs.

Avoiding Termites

Map showing the prevalence of termites in the contiguous United States of America.

Fort Lauderdale is home to several types of termites. Two of the termites known for causing the most damage are drywood termites and subterranean termites.

Drywood termites live within the material in which they feed, including furniture, hardwood floors, structural timbers and dead trees. They do not need above ground moisture or soil contact in order to survive. These termites tend to be larger than subterranean termites.

Subterranean termites are responsible for the majority of termite damage to homes in the United States. Generally, these insects require contact with soil, which provides moisture and ideal temperatures for their survival. These pests build nests underground that connect to above ground food sources via mud tunnels.

Avoiding Termites

Due to the year-round warm and humid climate in South Florida, termites swarm throughout the year. With some simple precautions, you can help keep termites at bay.

  1. Fix Water Leaks – Water leaks can cause damage to spaces in your house, requiring expensive repairs. Water damaged walls, leaks in roofs, attics, bathrooms or kitchen sink areas are ideal places for termites to flourish.
  2. Clear Downspouts – One of the most common places for termites to breed are inside roof downspouts. Experts advise homeowners to clean their gutters and downspouts on a regular basis. If you have a clogged rain gutter or downspout, make sure you clean it out to keep the water flowing.
  3. Keep Your Landscaping Tidy – Since termites love native trees and shrubs, make sure you keep these landscaping elements from touching your home. In addition, keep the base of trees free from mulch and old wood. Prune trees and shrubs away from exterior walls and make sure mulch is no closer than six inches from the foundation.
  4. Check Your Sprinklers –  Regularly monitoring your irrigation system is a good idea in general. Avoid water splashing on the foundation or walls of your home. Moisture tends to attract termites faster than ants to sugar.
  5. Keep Dirt Away From Walls – Another common entry point for termites is through earth-exposed surfaces. Experts advise homeowners to keep stucco, wood and plaster surfaces above the soil level. For best results, try to keep at least six inches of clearance.

Avoiding termites all-together in South Florida can be difficult. Following these tips will help to protect your Fort Lauderdale home. If you have questions or concerns about termites, consider contacting a trusted pest control company.