What do Termites do in the Winter?

Queen termiteThough the majority of termite activity happens in the warm summer months, you’re as likely to find termites attacking your home in the winter. You see, unlike many other insects, termites don’t hibernate in the winter. Their nests maintain a habitable climate, and so activity in them remains brisk. Further away from the nest, in the underground tunnels, temperatures will have dropped and this will slow termites down. But that doesn’t mean your home is safe during the cold winter months.

Termites like warmth and dampness, and outside their nest the best solution is your home. In the winter you heat your home, which creates an attractive opportunity for termite colony expansion as they seek new sources of food. It may take termites a little longer to reach your home in the winter months, but once there it will take no time at all for a termite infestation to eat its way through your home.

How to battle termites in winter

Even though it’s cold outside, the warmth of your home will act like a magnet to nearby termites. It may be possible that they are already present, and have begun to eat your home from the inside out. The secret to ensuring you remain termite free during the winter is to understand that termites feed just as vigorously during the cold months as they do during the hot weather. All they need is the right environment to get them going.

To ward off a termite attack, the first step is to have regular professional inspections. Between these professional inspections, always be on the look-out for the signs of termites. These signs include:

  • Blistered paintwork
  • Small mounds of earth on skirting boards and stairs, or under damp spaces such as sinks and baths
  • Honeycombed effect on wooden areas

Preliminary termite damage can also include electrical shorts and distortion of walls and floors. Left untreated, this preliminary damage can quickly progress to the complete destruction of your home.

Outside the home, regularly inspect around dead trees and bushes, and look for termite mounds. Don’t’ forget that untreated wood (for example fences or wood stores) are prime targets for termites looking for an easy meal.

Unfortunately, our need for warmth means that termites often want to keep us company in our homes during the winter. By maintaining a regime of regular inspections and taking necessary precautions, you will reduce the risk of termite attack in the winter and throughout the year.

Mal Trotter

Mal Trotter

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