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Are Termites A Concern In The Winter?

two termites on wood

According to the calendar, winter is just around the corner here in Indianapolis, and although the temperatures have not dropped as much as they normally do in December, eventually they may.  Most of us have finished our fall chores in preparation for what might be to come, the cold, blustery winds, ice, and snow, and have turned our attention to preparing for the holidays. The sweltering heat of summer is a long-distant memory, and so is the battle with mosquitoes and other summer pests. We have made it through the fall and kept a safe barrier around our homes to prevent those fall pests from trying to overwinter in our homes. Now is the time to simply settle in and spend the winter in relative peace and safety as we wait for spring to dawn. Or is it?

As you prepare to don your kerchief or your cap and settle down for your long winter’s nap, have you considered the silent threat that termites cause? Termites? You ask. Oh, but it is winter, and they are either asleep in their nests or dead from the cold, right? Wrong! Termites are one of those pests that can live through the winter months. These pests will slow down a bit if there are any temperatures below 40 degrees, but there aren’t many days in a year here in Indianapolis that will be consistently that cold. And when these destructive little creatures decide to form their home beneath yours, they have created a nice, warm protective barrier from the blustery, cold outside and can live and work and play to their heart's content unconcerned about weather. So if you thought that your concerns over termites were on sabbatical for the winter, think again.

Termites cause over $5 billion annually in damages in the United States; most of which is not covered under homeowner’s policies. Don’t let your budget take a hit like that, and don’t let your guard down just because it’s cold outside.

There are several things that you can do to discourage termites this winter.

  • Keep mulch and plants at least 15’’ from your foundation
  • Store wood at least 20 feet from your home
  • Trim back tree and shrub branches that touch your home
  • Prevent water accumulations by using gutters and downspouts
  • Ventilate attics, basements, and crawl spaces

On top of knowing how to discourage these pests, you should also be on the lookout for signs that they have already set up shop in the recesses of your home. After all, during the winter it is highly unlikely that you would notice the actual flying reproductives flitting around in your yard, so the only method of detecting them will be the subtle signs they can leave behind.

These signs include:

  • Check around windows, tubs, and sinks for piles of discarded wings.
  • Search around your foundation for ‘mud tubes’. These tube-like dirt structures act as super highways for termites as they travel in search of food.
  • Check the structural beams in your basement for a blistering or crusted appearance
  • Listen for the ‘chewing’ sounds termites make as they communicate with each other by snapping their jaws.
  • Tap on the wooden beams and sills to see if there is a hollow sound to them, and listen for them to ‘talk’ to each other.
  • Check for signs of termites around damaged or rotting wood sources in and around your home.

If you notice any of these subtle signs or if you just want the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are protected from these destructive creatures, give us a call. Here at Action Pest Control, we have over 68 years of experience in safe and effective home pest control applications. Our highly trained team of technologists number nearly 120 and are certified in proper pest control techniques and application to eliminate pests while keeping you, your family, and your environment safe. Choose from any one of our affordable year-round pest control plans and leave the year-round worry of termites up to us. You will be glad you did!