Termite and Termite Inspections in the Winter

Over the years, 38 years for now, I have been repeatedly asked about termites and/or termite inspections during the winter. The facts regarding termites in the winter may seem to be the opposite of what you may initially think but they are proven correct every winter. Simply and directly stated “Termites do more damage to heated structures-homes, offices, churches, schools, etc- during the winter than during summer or spring.” Let me explain. Spring is when the termite colonies expand and they do this by mass reproductive mating, the so called termite swarms. This is the most visible and dramatic event most people see regarding termites. The startling nature of these swarms lead many people to think termites are only active or most active in the spring. Some other people think termites are active mainly in the summer because they find termites eating their tomato stakes, wooden fences, and other outdoor readily visible items. One can not deny the termite activities most noticeable in spring or summer however, it is during the winter that termites damage heated structures the most. As mentioned, during summer and all the warmer months termites can readily find any number of food sources but when the temperatures drop near freezing the termites are forced deeper into the soil to keep from dying. When temperatures stay at or below freezing the termites must remain below the frost line in the ground and still find enough food to support the colony. Our heated structures fit this profile perfectly. We build with wood, we build on a footing below the frostline, and now we centrally heat our structures. These three building facts fit perfectly into the termites’ winter needs. The termites can safely eat the wood they need all winter long and supply the colony however large it may be with enough food until the ground warms and some may return to the surface food sources.

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