Is Termite Season Over Yet?
In our Texas service area of Katy and Greater Houston, subterranean termites are a year-round threat. There is no season in which termite do not present a threat to our property. It is safe to say that termite season is not over. But let's take a closer look at why this is the case.
Temperatures in Houston remain above 60 degrees all year long, except in rare circumstances when unexpected weather patterns push sustained cold air down from the north. This constant warmth allows the ground, which heats up and cools down slower than the air, to maintain an ideal temperature for termite activity all year long.
According to a study done between June 1997 and May 1998 and posted to the International Journal of Ambient Energy, the average ground temperature in the Houston area during the summer (June to October) is 89.31 °F and the average ground temperature in the winter (November to February) is 63.93. This winter average is almost 20 degrees higher than the mean critical thermal minimum of certain subterranean termite species. That's scientific lingo for, "20 degrees more than the point at which subterranean termites become inactive." It is also nearly 40 degrees higher than the low temperature needed to kill them.
When Is Termite Season In Houston?
In Houston, termite seasonality follows a pattern of increased activity during the warmer and more humid months of the year. Subterranean termites, which are the most common type found infesting homes in the region, thrive in the city's subtropical climate. Typically, termite activity rises in the spring when the weather becomes milder and continues through the summer months. The warm temperatures and ample moisture create optimal conditions for termite colonies to grow, forage for food, and establish new colonies. However, while this means that termites are not at their most active at this time of year, it doesn’t mean your home is safe and you don’t need to be worried; in fact, the opposite may be true.
While the time of year when termites are most likely to infest homes in the Houston area is during the spring and early summer, they can very much be a problem well into fall and even into winter, especially if they’ve already become established within the home. While termites don’t survive long in the cold, they can still thrive within the warmth that a home provides them once they’ve gotten inside. And making matters worse, the mild winters around Houston ensure that even the winters don’t do much to impede termites in the area.
Homes in Houston can become hotbeds for termite activity in the fall due to the unique climate conditions the region offers. While termites are generally most active in the spring and summer, the fall in Houston still provides a warm and humid environment that enables termite survival and activity. The temperature fluctuations in the fall can drive termites to seek shelter and stable food sources, which in turn can push them into residential areas. Making matters worse, fall rains can lead to moisture problems when the increased humidity is not evaporated as effectively as it is during the hot summers. This leads to favorable conditions for termites, who favor moist or water-damaged wood to colonize.
What Does This Mean For Greater Houston Residents?
The termite threat is very real. No homeowner in the Houston area should be without subterranean termite protection. These insects can feed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. That can add up to a lot of damage. And an infestation can strike at any moment, without warning.
How Do Houston-Area Residents Protect Their Property from Subterranean Termite Damage?
At Modern Pest Control, we've seen great success with the Sentricon® System with Always Active™. Sentricon® with Always Active™ is a powerful, eco-friendly termite control solution that uses bait to eliminate termite colonies. Bait stations are put into the ground around the perimeter of structures. when worker termites come to feed on those structures, the active ingredient in Sentricon® with Always Active™ begins to immediately work to neutralize the threat.
Worker termites feed on the bait and share it with other termites through a process called trophallaxis. One by one, the termites in the colony become infected. Slowly, and imperceptible, it works its way all the way to the heart of the attacking colony. By the time a certified Sentricon® with Always Active™ installer does a routine check on the bait station, the termite infestation is already well on its way to being eliminated. But, for good measure, a more potent cartridge may be put into the station to ensure the colony, or colonies, are eliminated.
When Is a Good Time to Have Sentricon® Installed?
On our termite control page, we give two case studies. In both cases, Sentricon® with Always Active™ was installed in October on properties that showed no evidence of an active termite infestation. In April, during routine inspections on both properties, worker termites and soldier termites were found feeding on a cartridge. If these homeowners had chosen to wait till after winter, those termites would have been feeding on their homes. So, the best time to have Sentricon® with Always Active™ installed is in spring, summer, fall, or winter. Don't let these wood-destroying pests have any season to feed on your property.
When subterranean termites attack a home, they do so without warning. No alarms will go off. You won't see insects crawling all over your walls. You won't hear them chewing on the inside of the timbers of your home. You won't hear any buzzing. You'll just wake up one day and find out that your home has had termites for years, and you'll be left holding the repair bill.
When you invest in Sentricon® with Always Active™, you invest in peace of mind. You'll know (every time) subterranean termites try to feed on your equity, and you'll know (every time) the threat has been neutralized. And you'll never have to experience the gut-wrenching news that subterranean termites have damaged your home in a way that can never be fixed. For more information about Sentricon® with Always Active™, or to schedule a visit from a certified Installer, give us a call today!