Termites found in a home.

Catch Of The Week: Termites During The Winter

February 10, 2020

Our pest technicians were recently called out to a home in Urbandale to take on a termite infestation. The homeowner turned to our experts when he suspected termite activity in the basement sink of the home. After noticing hundreds of dead and live insects crawling in his sink, the homeowner looked up to find termite shelter tubes on the floor joists. While termites normally don’t go out in the open, a break in their shelter tube is an occasional occurrence, causing the termites to fall out until they can plug the hole with a sandy soil mix.

Termite damage in Urbandale home

Are Termites Active In The Winter?

A common misconception homeowners have about termites is they either die or are inactive during the winter months. While true for many home invading critters, when it comes to termites, these pests are still very active.

The majority of termite species nest deep underground to survive the cold weather during the winter months. They use mud tubes to travel from their nest to a food source, which in many cases is a house. Nothing provides warmth, water and wood like the shelter of a home.

How Do You Treat A Termite Infestation During The Winter?

Typically, you cannot treat a termite infestation during the winter when the soil is frozen. However, for this job, our experts installed a termite bait directly on the area where there was live activity. Termite baiting is a great option as it immediately begins to eliminate colonies. The homeowner was thrilled to know that we were able to attack the problem proactively rather than waiting until the spring. If you come across a termite infestation, we suggest contacting professionals right away. Termites can significantly damage the wood in your home creating hazardous areas throughout.

What Are The Signs Of A Termite Infestation During The Winter?

Termites rarely venture out of their shelter in the winter, making it extremely difficult to notice the signs of their presence, but they can still wreak havoc on your home. There are a few sure signs of an infestation to keep an eye out for when it comes to termites. Mud tubes are the most common, but can potentially be inactive – absent of termites. Damaged wood and wings or skin cases left behind are other things to look out for in your home.

What Are The Signs Of An Active Termite Shelter Tube?

Termites form shelter tubes out of soil, wood and their saliva. These tubes can become very long. Our exterminators have dealt with mud tubes up to 10 feet long! So how can homeowners decipher an active tube from an inactive tube? Well, the only way to truly know what’s going on inside the tube is to break it open. Simply create an opening in the tube so the back and sides are still in tact. If after a few days the opening is no longer there, then you know you have an active mud tube. If there’s still a hole or the tube seems dried out, you most likely have an inactive mud tube. You’ll know quickly as these pests work 24 hours a day, meaning they can accomplish a lot while causing significant damage to your home.

How Can I Avoid A Termite Invasion During The Winter?

There are steps homeowners can take both in and around the home to avoid a termite infestation. We’ll discuss a few things you can do during the winter to make your home as unattractive as possible to termites.

Treating Wood

Treat any wood you will be using in or outside your home. This practice significantly reduces the risk of termites. Untreated wood is a primary form of transporting termites into homes. Treating it will eliminate any termites that may have already gotten to it, as well as prevent any others from getting inside of it.

Make Sure There Are No Leaks In Your Home

Moisture is a huge attraction for termites as a primary characteristic of the environment they thrive in. Regularly check around your home for any leaks that need fixing to eliminate potential nesting areas.

Consider Termite Prevention

You can sign up for termite prevention and have a professional look after your home for you!

Des Moines Pest Control Service | Termite Removal

At Preferred Pest Control, we offer one-time and year-round protection from termites and other intruders. As the leading Des Moines exterminator, you can rest assured knowing your home is pest free when you call Preferred Pest Control! Schedule an appointment online or call us at (515) 415-5550 today.

One-Time Termite Treatment Year-Round AllPest Elimination

Related Article You Might Like: