With a warmer-than-usual winter this year in New England, it’s been a nice little breeding ground for pests that usually like to sleep the winter away. In particular: termites.
The termites in this area are eastern subterranean termites, which can be active all year long under the right conditions. And this past winter seems to have been just right for them. Keep in mind that even if there was snow on the ground, that can act as insulation, preventing the cold from getting deep enough to get rid of termites completely. It seems like nothing can put a damper on the attitude of those gnawing little pests. Let’s discuss.
They don’t mind it warm:
Eastern subterranean termites live underground when they’re not eating tunnels through wood sources above ground. Since the temperature of the ground changes a whole lot slower than the temperature of the air, when we get cold snaps, termites don’t even notice. It’s only when the cold is constant like typically in January or February that termites take notice. This winter’s milder temperatures have been rather kind to them.
They don’t mind it cold:
Like I said above, the snow can act as insulation and prevent the cold from getting deep enough to slow termites down. If termites are positioned underneath a home, they can tunnel straight up and into the home through cracks in the foundation or by entering right into a dirt-floored cellar. And we know those spots are nice and warm – even in the winter. If you have a cellar, check it routinely for shelter tubes. Better yet, have a pest control company like Waltham Pest Services do it for you. They know what to look for.
They just keep eating:
Obviously, wood termites primarily feed on wood. If your home has wood in it (which most do), then it contains a food source that is interesting to termites. If it’s warm enough for termites to be active but they’re unable to find food, they’ll slow down for lack of energy. When they find an available food source (your home’s frame?) that can be reached, even in the dead of winter when there is snow on the ground, they’ll have the energy they need to continue their destructive activities.
What to do:
So what can you do? The biggest reason termites are able to be active all year long – even if the cold slows them down – inside our New England homes isn’t even the unusual milder temps. It’s the absence of termite control. Having a professional pest control company come out to inspect and treat – and then keep up those two things – is key. A company that has been around a while like Waltham Pest Services (they’ve been doing it since 1893) is a good choice. They live and work in the area so they know about the regional pests around us. They also have been doing it so long, they have proven practices – so much so that they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If the company you’re considering doesn’t offer that, think again.
Don’t let a false sense of security that comes with the colder weather cause you to turn a blind eye to the possibility of termites. The damage they can cause can be very, very costly. If you’re wondering what termites look like – just imagine vanishing dollar signs… We can’t wish them away, so we may as well be the house on the block that has the best termite prevention plan in place.