Termites thrive in warm, damp conditions. Florida's climate is ideal for them. The three main types of termites found in Florida are drywood termites, dampwood termites and subterranean termites, although there are many other varieties. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recommends Florida residents to have termite protection, although many Floridians pay no heed.
When hiring a company to provide termite protection in Florida, ask plenty of questions. Make sure that the company is licensed. If you have any doubts about the company's qualifications, contact the Florida Division of Environmental Services. Ask about the training and qualifications of the exterminators that will be coming into your home. Find out if their work is guaranteed, and which types of termites are covered under the guarantee. Check the contract carefully to determine liability for any repairs needed due to termite damage after treatment.
There are things that you can do to lessen the chances of termites in your home. Look for leaking water from air conditioners, pipes, or other sources. Make sure that there's no standing water on your roof. Keep the gutters and downspouts flowing freely. Use a minimum of wood mulch around your plants. Drain any standing water. Remove any debris and stumps that are near your home, and don't pile firewood up near the foundation. Check the screen on your outside vents for damage and if you don't have screens on your vents, get them.
Pay attention to warning signs. If you see a swarm of winged insects around your home, they could be termites. If you notice piles of discarded wings near your foundation, it could be indicative of termites. Mud on the outside of your home could also mean termites. If you suspect a problem, call a professional immediately. A termite colony can go through a pound of wood every day. Your home is too important an investment to take any chances.
New houses in Florida are have had insecticide applied during the building process. The extermination company will then issue a protection contract to the builder, who then transfers it to the homeowner. It is guaranteed for one year. The exterminator will then be in touch with the homeowner to renew the contract and reapply the insecticide. The homeowner has the option to renew with the same company for four years.
Termite protection is included on newly built homes in Florida, and recommended for everyone else. Termites eat wood and soil, and the Florida climate is idea for their survival. Watch for signs, keep your home free of standing water, and contact a professional about termite control.
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