Termites are swarming. How to protect your home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Spring is here and so is termite season. Now is a good time to make sure your house is protected from the destructive pests.

The bugs cause more than $5 billion in property damage every year, according to National Pest Management Association. That cost isn’t normally covered under homeowner’s insurance.

One area where termites have been a big problem is Riverside. Termites forced the demolition of the historic Women’s Club of Jacksonville in 2016.

A task force came together last year to protect the termite-prone areas of Jacksonville. 

As temperatures start to climb, pest companies say now is a good time start looking out for them. The warmer and sometimes wet weather make this the perfect time for termites to start making moves. Peninsular Pest Control says native subterranean termites are already swarming. Formosan termites will start ramping up at the end of next month.

How to protect your home

  • Get a professional termite inspection annually
  • Don’t keep firewood or lumber nearby your house
  • Pre-treat your house for termites
  • If you have mulch surrounding your home, don’t pile it high
  • Direct water away from home with gutters and drain lines

What to look out for

  • Mud trails on trees in your yard or on walls in your home
  • Wings inside your house are a sign of termite infestation
  • Distorted surfaces, cracked/bubbled paint or small holes in wood
  • Damage to foundation of home -- subterranean termites live underground
  • In Riverside, termites can be found taking over trees, with plenty more underground. 

“We will continually see the Formosan termites spread through Jacksonville. So it’s not only here in Riverside, it’s across the river in San Marco, it’s out near the beaches, it’s on the Westside, it’s on the north side,” said George Richardson with Peninsular Pest Control.

No matter where in Florida or Georgia you live, Richardson said there’s always a risk of having termites.
“They forge randomly and continuously so they’re constantly in search of food,” said Richardson. If you do happen to see termites taking over a tree in your yard, there’s a good chance they’ll find a way into your home. 

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