Black termites up close

Termites are more than just a nuisance; they pose a significant threat to homes and buildings in Jacksonville FL. In a matter of months, they can cause extensive property damage before you even realize they are there. In order to effectively protect your home, it’s essential to understand the different types of termites in our area and the signs of their presence. Here, the experts at Bug Out explain what you need to know. 

Types of Termites in Jacksonville FL

With over 2,000 species of termites found across the world, you might be shocked to find out that most infestations in Jacksonville FL are just caused by two: Eastern Subterranean Termites and Formosan Termites. While they are fairly similar in terms of their destructive habits, there are a couple of differences that can help you tell them apart. 

Eastern Subterranean Termites

These termites typically live in underground colonies and construct mud tubes to reach above-ground food sources. Eastern subterranean termites are smaller and have a creamy white to dark brown color. The soldiers have large, rectangular heads with strong mandibles. 

Eastern subterranean termites are known for their ability to build extensive networks of tunnels to access food and moisture, and they’re a common problem across the United States.

Formosan Termites

Formosan termites also build underground colonies but are more aggressive and can establish secondary nests above ground if sufficient moisture is present. They are larger than their Eastern subterranean counterparts. Workers are a yellowish-brown color and have an oval-shaped head with a more pronounced fontanelle.

Known as “super termites,” Formosan termites are extremely destructive. They can quickly damage structures due to their large colony sizes and aggressive foraging behavior.

When Are Termites Most Active?

Thanks to the warm weather here in the Sunshine State, termites are a year-round problem in our area. That said, they’re most noticeable in the spring when reproductive alates leave the colony to find a mate. 

Termites typically swarm to find mates when the weather is both warm and humid, which provides the perfect environment to protect their delicate bodies while out in the open. Since these insects rarely leave the nest except to swarm, this is the time of year you’re most likely to see them.

Do Termites Die In The Winter?

Unlike many pests that become dormant or die off in colder weather, termites are usually active all year long—especially when winter weather is mild. While termites may slow down slightly during cooler months, they do not die off or become inactive in our area as they might in more temperate climates. That said, they may alter their behaviors slightly when temperatures drop by:

  • Burrowing deeper into soil or wood to escape the cold
  • Slow down egg laying on cooler days
  • Continue building mud tubes to stay warm as they tunnel

How to Tell If You Have Termites

Termites are often called “silent destroyers” because they can cause extensive damage before being discovered. The sooner you spot an infestation, the easier it will be to get rid of. Even in the winter, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of termites:

  • Mud Tubes: Subterranean termites build mud tubes to travel between their colonies and food sources. These tubes, made of soil and termite droppings, are usually found on foundations, walls, or other surfaces leading from the ground to wood structures.
  • Discarded Wings: After a swarm, reproductive termites shed their wings. Piles of discarded wings near window sills, doorways, or other light sources are a clear sign of a recent swarm and potential infestation.
  • Hollowed Wood: Termites eat wood from the inside out, leaving a thin veneer on the surface. Tapping on wood that sounds hollow or feels soft can be a sign of termite damage.
  • Blistering or Bubbling Paint: As termites tunnel through walls, they can cause the paint on the surface to blister or bubble. This often indicates moisture buildup or damage beneath the surface.

What Type of Termite Do I Have?

It is very rare to see termites whatsoever unless you notice a swarm flying by. This makes it especially difficult to identify which type of termite you may be dealing with. A professional termite control company can identify the species of termite you are dealing with and work to determine the best form of termite control for that species.

If you think you have termites or need help identifying the type of termite infestation, don’t wait for the damage to worsen. Contact Bug Out today for professional termite removal services. Our expert team is equipped to handle all your termite concerns, ensuring your home remains safe and pest-free*. 

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