Known as the Magic City, Miami reigns as one of the most glamorous metropolitan areas in the country, with her tropical year-round climate, her famous beaches, her saucy culture mix, and her legendary waterfront. Miami’s luxurious backdrop of skyscrapers and tropical waters has been featured in many films and TV shows over the years. So, you probably wouldn’t expect Miami to show up at the top of the world’s worst cities for termites but that seems to be what’s happening. In Paul Scicchitano’s Patch Media article, he revealed that a recent study ranked Miami as the worst city for termites in the US. The second spot going to another crowd favorite, Los Angeles, the study placed Tampa third, followed by New York and New Orleans.
Miami and Tampa in good company
Sharing the spotlight with two of the Sunshine State’s most popular cities, West Palm Beach took the eighth spot, while Orlando finished twelfth. Showing up a little later in the study, Ft. Myers placed 21st and Jacksonville brought up the rear in the 38th position. In horse racing, Florida would be showing out just fine, but in the race against termites, the odds are stacked against this South Florida paradise.
Several factors make Miami and the rest of South Florida ideal places to live and to visit. The year-round warm and humid climate attracts folks from the north who just need a break from frigid temps and the doldrums of winter. This warm and moist environment agrees with at least six invasive termite species that include aggressive subterranean Asian and Formosan termites.
Formosan and Asian termites most destructive
Turns out the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Palm Beach area marks the only place in the continental US where Formosan and Asian species coexist. Formosan subterranean termites have been found as far north as Charleston, SC but Asian termites don’t venture further north than Palm Beach County. However, University of Florida (UF) researchers speculate that rising global temps may make it possible for these menaces to infest areas farther north in the near future. Also, researchers’ fear that longer, warmer weather seasons would cause the mating seasons of Formosan and Asian subterranean termites to overlap has become a reality and the UF team is waiting and watching to see if a hybrid super-breed termite will result.
Responsible for most of the destruction worldwide
Formosan and Asian subterranean termites consist of massive colonies, unlike native subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites. Responsible for most of the destruction worldwide, Formosan and Asian termites can fly further than native termites and need to feed millions of termites in their supercolonies. Asian and Formosans will eat anything wooden, including utility poles, live trees, and boats. These voracious eaters will eat through wiring and plastic to get to a cellulose source.
Study called termites “silent destroyers”
The study went further to say that termites are often known as “silent destroyers” because they infest your home from the ground up, where you’re not likely to notice. Termites infest homes from wood to ground contact, generally. Sometimes drywood termites can be transported from one location to another in infested furniture. At any rate, most termite activity can go on for a while before homeowners realize they are under attack. In the past, native termites may take a while to damage your home but more aggressive Formosan and Asian termites can destroy a home in less than half the time, in some cases causing structures to collapse. The problem is that you may not see anything going on in your home because termites work from the inside of your wood out, working round the clock, transporting cellulose to their nests.
Signs of termite activity
- Hollow sounding walls, floors, doorways, support beams, eaves, siding, and house trim when tapped can indicate termite activity.
- Buckling floors, blistering paint, and surfaces that appear to be water damaged can be the result of termite activity.
- Barrel-shaped excrement, known as “frass” can provide a clue about the presence of drywood termites. Drywood termites process their food, extracting the water they need to survive from it.
- Mud tubes running from somewhere in your yard to your foundation and up walls can indicate subterranean termite activity, as subterranean termites live in the ground outside your house.
- Trees and utility poles that have mud tubes running up their bases.
- Termite wings deposited near window sills.
- Termites flying around inside your home.
Ongoing Termite Prevention
For South Florida residents, termites are a fact of life. With increasing activity and data that suggests that by 2040, half of the structures in Florida will be infested on the current trajectory, protecting your home from termites should be a priority. Many resources are available to South Florida residents in the fight against termites. At Hulett, our Healthy Home Programs offer tried and true solutions to creating a termite barrier around your home, starting with a free termite inspection. Because it’s easier to prevent pests than it is to eliminate an infestation, Hulett’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to pest control offers Annual Termite Renewal Programs that tackle all of your termite potential problem areas. Our Total Termite Protection program comes with a million dollar guarantee that says you will be satisfied with our services or we will pay any damage up to 1 million dollars.
Hulett protects with the best of techniques and services
As the weather warms, you will appreciate the peace of mind our licensed and certified technicians will bring to your home and loved ones. Family owned and operated, for over 51 years, Hulett is ranked as one of the 20 best pest control companies in the US. Termites are on the rise in South Florida. Protect your most valuable asset from these destructive pests, Just call Hulett!