Termites are a common household pest that feasts on cellulose in wood found in homes all over the world, with the exception of Antarctica. It is easy to see why these pests wouldn’t survive the colder climate of Antarctica but it may leave you wondering if they survive normal winters.
If you’ve wondered whether or not winter climates will stop termites, we have provided a guide that contains useful facts. Some insects may not survive colder temperatures, so it’s best to know if termites will no longer pose a problem as the seasons change.
If you suspect an infestation, read through the information provided and contact a pest control specialist. As with any pest, it is always better to be safe than sorry so that you can take control of the situation.
What Are Termites?
If you live in a region that has a warm climate, then you have probably heard of termites before. Termites are insects that invade your home using tunnels burrowed underneath the soil. They colonize areas and feast for years as they forage and defend against other insects.
Termites are social creatures that work together to build tunnels, feed each other and defend the colony. They thrive by eating cellulose in wood. Foraging worker termites feed on the wood and store it in their gut to later feed other termites in the nest.
Termite infestations occur in many cases without any visible signs of damage. You may not notice the infestation because these insects are subterranean in nature. Because of this, once the termite king and queen begin creating their colony, they can live underground for the remainder of their lives.
Where Do Termites Live?
Termites tend to live in warmer climates and are found in most of the United States with the exception of Alaska. They will burrow underneath the soil and create mud tubes of which they use to defend their colony and feed their young.
Termites are common in the southern and western United States. As the temperature increases, so does the likelihood of an infestation of these resilient insects.
With climate change on the horizon, many have speculated that the termite will migrate to other areas not previously affected by infestations. Termites can die off in temperatures below 48 degrees F, but they are more likely to burrow deeper under the soil’s surface.
Can Termites Survive Winter?
The short answer to this question is yes, termites can survive winter temperatures. They may burrow deeper under the surface, but will thrive if the tunnels have moisture.
Termites prefer an environment that is warm, dark, and full of moisture. Through termite tubes, these insects tunnel in and invade your property. In the winter, termites are not dormant but do experience a decrease in activity.
In colder months, a well-established termite colony that can maintain a moist connection to the soil will see no decrease in activity. Termites are less likely to colonize your home in winter months. However, already established colonies will continue to remain active all throughout the year.
It is important to remain vigilant throughout the year. Termite infestations can still damage your home while you remain completely unaware.
What to Look For In Your Home
Even in the winter time, it’s best to be aware of the signs of termite infestation. Save your home from costly damage and repairs by learning the signs before it becomes a problem. Take the following steps to learn more about identifying an infestation and getting the help you need to eradicate the problem.
- Swarms – Look for winged termites swarming the property. This is an indicator of infestation.
- Capture a Sample – Buy a small jar or container and put rubbing alcohol inside. Capture a sample of the insect in order to have it analyzed by an exterminator.
- Look for Mud Tubes – Mud tubes are moist tunnels that worker termites use to forage, defend and feed the colony. Look inside these tubes to determine if worker termites are present.
- Inspect Water Damaged Areas – Damage caused by termites is similar in appearance to areas affected by water damage.
If a termite infestation is suspected, it is best to seek the help of a qualified professional. Your home can be termite-free with the experience that hiring an exterminator provides.
There are many DIY treatments on the market today but they cannot replace the advice that a professional can give you. Termites are resilient insects that cooperate with one another to forage on the foundation of your home.
Being able to first recognize the signs of an infestation is the key to eradicating it and preventing future infestations. You are your home’s first defense against these unwanted invaders. If you live further south in the United States, your likelihood of being infested by termites is increased.
Termites Are Year-Round Workers
If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter months, it is common to think that termites may die off or lay dormant. In some cases, this can be true. In colder climates, these pests are known for lessening their activity levels.
Termites are not likely to swarm in the winter months as they prefer the spring and fall months for colonization. You may think that you are safe from infestation from termites because of the cold temperatures. Nonetheless, it is always best to remain vigilant.
As the temperature outside drops, termites have a tendency to burrow further beneath the soil’s surface. Termites do this so they can maintain a warm body temperature.
Termites are year-round workers and can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. You should act fast in the event that you suspect a termite infestation. Utilizing the help of a qualified exterminator early on will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Not only will an exterminator be able to eradicate a termite infestation, but they will also be able to provide sound advice in dealing with future problems. Termites may not bite you, but they will take a large bite out of your bank account if you don’t work to protect your property.