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Are termites active in the winter?

Termites in the winter can be a tricky problem to deal with. Many homeowners believe that termites are only active during the warmer months, but unfortunately, this is not entirely true. While some termites may die in the winter, many species have adapted to survive the cold temperatures. Termites are active in winter and can still cause damage to your home during the colder seasons. It’s important to remain vigilant year-round to prevent and protect your home from potential termite damage. 

termites in snow

Does cold water get rid of termites?

Cold weather alone typically does not get rid of termites, as many termites can survive the winter by adapting to various climates. They may become less active and consume less food to conserve energy in the colder temperatures. Most termites will decrease their activity levels when temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the exact temperature at which termites become less active can vary depending on the termite species

Termites are more active in spring and early summer but can still be active in the colder seasons, especially in heated structures or warmer building parts. If termites are already within your walls, cold weather is not likely to eliminate them. The temperature inside your home is usually warmer than outside, providing them a suitable environment for them to thrive. 

Signs of termite activity

In certain climates, winter can be a crucial time to watch for signs of termite activity, as termites are active in winter, and infestations can go unnoticed for longer periods. Here are some common signs of termite activity that you should keep an eye out for:

  1. Swarmers: Winged termites, or swarmers, leave their colonies to find a mate. If you notice swarms of flying termites in or around your home, you may have an infestation nearby.
  2. Discarded wings: Swarmers will shed their wings after they mate and find a new colony. Discarded termite wings are typically found near windowsills, doors, and other entry points. 
  3. Mud tubes: Subterranean termites construct mud tubes for protection, which may be visible along walls, foundations, or other wooden surfaces.
  4. Damaged wood: Check for wood that sounds hollow when tapped, as termites consume wood from the inside. Damaged wood, even in winter, may indicate an ongoing infestation.
  5. Frass: Termite droppings, or frass, resemble tiny wood-colored pellets. Finding these near damaged wood or along baseboards may signify termite activity.
  6. Cracked or bubbling paint: Termites produce moisture as they feed, leading to paint on walls or wooden surfaces bubbling or cracking.
hundreds of termites on floor

Regional differences can significantly affect termite activity, with different species adapting to various climates and environments. Subterranean termites are most common in the southern United States, while drywood termites are more common in the southwestern states and south Florida. Termite activity can vary depending on the region. For example, termites tend to remain active year-round in areas with warm and humid climates. On the other hand, in colder regions, termites may become less active, and some species become dormant during the winter months.

Don't let termites take over

Discovering that termites are active in winter can be concerning, but don’t worry, we are here to help. Protect your home from termites this winter with these tips to help prevent and get rid of termites:

  • Remove any wood debris or lumber from around your home.
  • Store firewood away from your home and off the ground.
  • Keep gutters clean and free of debris.
  • Fix any moisture problems in your home, such as leaks or excess humidity.
  • Seal any cracks or gaps in your home's foundation or walls.
  • Keep vegetation trimmed away from your house.
  • Regularly inspect your home's foundation and wooden structures for signs of termite activity.

If you suspect an infestation, it is best to act quickly to prevent further termite damage. With Ehrlich's top-notch termite services, you can breathe easily.  Our team of experts is trained to identify and treat termite infestations so you can have peace of mind knowing your home is protected. Keep termites from taking over, and contact Ehrlich today to get started.

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