Are you wondering whether termites can survive winter? Are they active in winter? Do you want to know how to control termite activity in your home? You are in the right place; please keep reading.
Just like you, termites seek shelter from cold temperatures to survive. Generally, termites are the most active in the warm season due to high human activity. But the bad news is that termites stay active year-round and may invade your home in the cold season as well.
Where do termites go in the winter?
In the cold season, termites tend to live inside your home or underground, where the moisture and temperature levels are in a comfortable range. These tiny creatures can burrow as deep as a metre below the surface level and create mud tunnels on surfaces like walls to protect themselves against freezing temperatures and predators.
The indoor activity of termites in winter
Typically, termites don't move indoors when the cold season begins, as they are already in your home. However, since your house may offer warmth, wood and water, termites can stay in your home as these conditions make an ideal gateway for these creatures.
You may find termite colonies in your crawl space, basements and other places where temperatures are around 30 degrees.
The outdoor activity of termites in the winter
In winter, many insects use survival strategies to survive cold temperatures rather than go into hibernation. Cold temperatures can reduce termite activity in winter, but it can't kill or drive these creatures away. Instead, cold temperatures force these insects to go underground or find shelter inside hollow spaces, such as your house.
Subterranean termites, for instance, take their colonies underground. Therefore, they tend to dig deeper to find warmer ground based on how cold it's outside.
Dampwood and dry wood termites find shelter in trees or old stumps. If you have firewood outside your house, chances are that it may already have termites in it.
What are the signs of having termites in your home during the winter?
Below are some signs you should look for to find out if you have termites in your house.
Inspect your masonry, wooden walls or bare concrete for mud tubes the diameter of a pencil.
Examine your floor, countertops and windowsills for thin, papery wings, especially during late spring.
Inspect wooden surfaces for distorted or "bubbled" paint areas. Touch these areas to find out if they feel cool.
Inspect other wooden parts of your house for "saggy" areas.
If you find any of these signs, chances are that you have a termite activity in your home.
Is treating termites in the winter needed?
Termites are on the list of pests that don't hibernate when the outside temperatures drop significantly. Instead, they tunnel deep into the foundation of your home to find shelter and feed 24/7. Unfortunately, these creatures can cause severe damage to your property in winter.
Therefore, we suggest you treat termites to protect your property and avoid expensive repair costs down the road. FYI, termite infestation is not covered by insurance!
Can termites survive winter? Although termites stay active during winter, they have to struggle to survive. Since these insects are cold-blooded, they rely on their surroundings to remain warm enough to survive the cold season. When temperatures are below zero degrees, termites look for shelters, such as underground tunnels in a house or wooden logs.
When the temperatures drop below the freezing point, termites dig deep tunnels and live underground in the form of a colony. Most termites spend their entire lifespan in these tunnels. However, workers move in and out in search of a food source: wood.
In winter, worker termites bore through wood, or they tend to dig deep enough to expand the colony. Additionally, workers are responsible for looking for food. The hardworking termites eat food and leave behind tunnels. Besides, they carry the wood back to the colony to feed the reproductive members and soldiers.
As time goes by, termites keep on causing damage to the wooden structure they eat during winter. At the same time, reproductive termites produce more workers adding to the colony size.
Do termites die in the winter? Extreme temperatures can kill termites. In winter, if termites get too cold, they may freeze to death. But termites can maintain their body temperatures in outdoor nests deep enough to provide warmth for termite colonies.
According to the National Association of Steel Framed Houses Inc, termites cause property damage between $80 and 780 million yearly in Australia.Therefore, you may want to check your house for early signs of termites. You can follow the tips below:
Examine your home for excrement that looks like sawdust expelled by termites when they clean their tunnels
Look for thin termite wings around the access points
Examine wood surfaces for long grooves caused by termites chewing
Inspect your wooden floors for signs of blistering due to termites burrowing
Look for pencil-like mud tunnels on walls built by termites for shelter.
Termite queens keep laying eggs throughout the year. The egg production rate may vary based on the queen's age and species. In temperate climate regions where winter temperatures drop below zero degrees, queens may stop laying eggs until temperatures go up again.
If you want to eliminate termites from your house in winter, we suggest look at the EnviroBug Termite Ninja - the kit includes everything you need to attract and destroy a termite colony.
Since these insects don't usually hibernate in winter, they need enough warmth to survive freezing temperatures in winter. So, termites rely on their environment to stay warm and well-fed. They will die if exposed to freezing temperatures without shelter.
So, you can follow this article to identify pest infestation in your house and take the steps to eliminate these creatures.