Termites cause billions of dollars in home damage every year.
Over time, this damage can be significant enough to make homes uninhabitable. If you don’t want that to be your home, you need to be vigilant against possible termite infestations.
A common misconception many homeowners have is that termites die off in the winter. But how true is this? Keep reading to find all the information you need about termites in winter.
What Happens to Termites in Winter?
Many pests are warm-blooded organisms that can maintain a steady body temperature. Termites are not. They’re cold-blooded creatures.
Since they’re cold-blooded creatures, termites can’t create their own warmth. They take on the temperature of the air, water, or soil around them. For this reason, termites have to stay in areas of warmth if they want to survive.
When the weather gets cold, so does the soil. Subterranean termites, which live underground, seem to go into hibernation. They aren’t seen swarming or foraging in snow or really cold temperatures.
But they aren’t hibernating.
When the temperature dips a little, termites will go further underground to stay warm. They’ll slow down and stay closer to their colony. This makes many homeowners think there is no risk of termites in winter.
Are Termites a Risk in Winter?
Unfortunately, a risk of continued infestation of termites in winter is possible, especially in mild states like Maryland and Virginia. This generally only occurs if the right conditions are met.
Termites need warmth, right? Your home will likely maintain an even temperature during the winter months. It won’t get nearly as cold as outside.
The soil under your home will not freeze and this allows subterranean termite colonies to stay active during winter. The heat of your home will be high enough to keep termites alive.
Termites aren’t likely to swarm during winter, however. It can happen if the temperatures suddenly rise, but it’s rare.
Termites living in your home during winter are even less likely to swarm. To trigger swarming behaviors, there has to be a sharp spike in temperature. If your home is always kept around the same few degrees, it won’t trigger this behavior.
Does Snow Kill Termites?
There is a common misconception that snow will kill off termites. This is wrong. Snow is actually a good thing for termites living underground.
When snow accumulates on the ground, it’s insulating it. The snow will blanket the earth and keep it warm. This is the perfect situation for termites in winter.
The ground isn’t likely to warm up enough to keep termites as active as in spring or fall. But it can be warm enough to allow them to travel a little further from their nests. This might lead termites to your home, depending on how far away they’ve built their colony.
Learn More About Taking Care of Pests All Year Long
Want to learn more about termites in winter? Have questions about other common types of household pests in Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia? Contact us today and one of our professionals will be happy to assist you.