Termites- The silent destroyers

Nicknamed “silent destroyers,” termites seek out moisture-damaged homes and chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper — causing structural damage that is typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance.

Discarded wings, near window sills and doors, or baseboards, as well as in spiderwebs, are often the only outwardly visible sign of an infestation. Subterranean termites build mud tubes found near the home’s foundation to provide moisture while they travel between their colony and food source.

Wood that is soft and sounds hollow when tapped, or dark and blistering pieces of wood.

Another sign may include quiet clicking sounds coming from the walls. Soldier termites bang their heads against the wood or shake their bodies when the colony is disturbed to signal danger to the other termites. The worker termites, which are the ones who love eating woodwork, are noisy eaters.

So, if you find any of the above symptoms in your house, you’ve suddenly got a major issue on your hands.

Invasive termites now feeding on native trees, creating a hazard during storms

Posted: August 06, 2019

By: Michelle Quesada

Recent afternoon thunderstorms are revealing a big pest problem in Palm Beach County: invasive termites in live trees.

The termites are weakening native trees causing them to snap during storms.

Homes in South Florida are already being impacted by the aggressive and invasive Asian subterranean termite species, now so are trees.

“When termites swarm and fly, that’s oftentimes how we know they are in a house, but with the colony being out in the tree, they’re flying and swarming outside so they’re not giving us that sign that they’re in the structure,” said Paul Sugrue, Technical Director at Nozzle Nolen in West Palm Beach. “So they’re even more cryptic which is dangerous.”

Sugrue said one of his customers recently had pine trees snap in a storm> Inside he found a colony of subterranean termites.

“When they hollow it out to nest in it, then you’ve definitely for a threat of a hazard of them falling over,” said Sugrue.

Destructive ‘super-termites’ discovered in La Mesa

By Amanda Brandeis │ August 13, 2018

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Homeowners in La Mesa are being warned their houses could be at risk of a destructive pest: Formosan subterranean termites.

San Diego-based company Thrasher Termite & Pest Control made the unfortunate discovery this month in a La Mesa home.

“Unlike native subterranean termites, the termites we observed were extremely active, didn’t flee when disturbed, and the soldiers went into attack mode. They had hollowed out large areas of structural wood, always staying just beneath the exterior paint and unnoticed by the homeowner,” said Garrett Thrasher.

They’re deemed “super-termites” due to enormous colonies up to two million strong. The pests can cause significant structural damage within six months unlike traditional dry-wood termites, which take 10-15 years to do similar damage.

Invasive species of termites spreading in Palm Beach County

By Michelle Quesada │ October 01, 2018

Exterminators are seeing more cases of an invasive species of termites in parts of Palm Beach County. The Asian Subterranean termite is most commonly found in West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, Singer Island. Experts believe they first came in through the Port of Palm Beach.

Nozzle Nolen exterminators found the invasive species of termites at John F. Kennedy’s bunker on Peanut Island. Crews treated the bunker, old Coast Guard house and boathouse for the invasive species and then tented the buildings for dry wood termites.

“They really just move with the breeze, they’re not strong flyers,” said Paul Sugrue, an entomologist and technical director at Nozzle Nolen.

Unless the termites swarm or you have visible damage in your home, you don’t really know they are there.

“I’m not the kind that tries to scare people, but they can literally make your home collapse,” said Sugrue.

Sugrue said the termites can eat a foot of wood a day.

Vinny Persad grew up in Riviera Beach. He says he owns several homes and renovates them for Section 8 housing. He said a few weeks ago he thought one of his homes had subterranean termites.

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