If you currently suspect a termite infestation in your home and are hoping that property damages will slow down on their own once the temperatures start to drop, there are several important facts that you should know about termites in winter.
These insects feed constantly. Their eating habits do not vary significantly throughout the year, and the property destruction that they cause is not slowed by significant temperature drops. Thus, it is important to seek immediate treatment for termite problems, rather than waiting for the climate to make termite activity abate.
With termites, waiting usually means you'll end up paying more money for treatment.
How Winter Affects Termites
Many homeowners are under the mistaken assumption that termites go dormant during the winter months. This is largely due to the fact that it is often difficult to spot the activities of subterranean termites in the soil once the temperatures grow exceedingly cold.
Rather than being dormant, however, subterranean termites have simply burrowed deeper into the soils. Like all termites, these bugs have very specific requirements for moisture. Burrowing deeper ensures that these requirements are met while still affording ample access to the wood and wood structures that these bugs like to feed on.
Drywood And Damp Wood Termites
Drywood and damp wood termites are usually found higher up on the home, whereas subterranean termites attack building structures closer to their foundation. When the temperatures grow cold, these insects will continue to forage, however, they will usually forage a lot closer to their nests. This can in turn keep damages in a slightly more concentrated area, but it will not limit the amount that is ultimately consumed.
It is important for homeowners to note that there is no specific termite season. There is, however, a time of year when these insects and their activities are most visible. This typically runs from March through December. During these months, homeowners are more likely to see signs like:
- Termite feces
- Wings that have been discarded
- Termite swarms
Treating Termites In Winter
Winter is actually one of the best times to implement certain termite treatments, given that the activities and locations of these insects are slightly more predictable. For instance, homeowners who are eager to use baiting systems will find that termites are more likely to discover strategically placed bait during the winter than they are in the spring and summer months when warmer temperatures allow them to forage further away from their nests and give them access to a greater abundance of food.
The primary drawback of using bait systems is the fact that it can take months for termites to discover them. Given that these bugs live directly on and within their food source, it can take time for them to stumble across even the best-placed bait system. The need to stay closer to the nest, however, often ensures rapid discovery and the quick transfer of bait poisons throughout the entire colony.
Working With Experienced Pest Control Companies
Winter is a great time to work with experienced pest control companies. This gives these professionals the chance to design and implement effective, multi-pronged treatment plans, before seasonal changes in termite behaviors make treatment more challenging and allow for more widespread damages. Thus, if you happen to discover the signs of a termite infestation just before winter hits, waiting the season out will cause you to miss out on the opportunity for a fast, seamless solution that can significantly minimize overall property damages.