Mild winter making termites worse in Tampa Bay, here's how to protect your home

Posted at 6:55 PM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 18:55:17-04

It's kind of like a given if you live in Florida. 

There will be bugs and there will be a lot of them. This year though will perhaps be worse than anything we have seen in recent years said Tom Wisdo, a Tampa entomologist.

"We had a very mild winter," says Wisdo. "Cold weather is what kills off a lot of the bugs and insect populations."

Bees are usually a given because they are on the move this time of year.

Fire ants are usually a big problem too; especially for people who have pools, Jacuzzis and/or underground sprinkler systems.

"They get into the insulated wiring. They like to chew on it for whatever reason and it could cause some expensive repair," said Wisdo.

The biggest problem Wisdo says Tampa Bay will deal with this summer is termites.

"All they need is about the space at the tip of a pen [to get in.]  We're talking about an eight of an inch in diameter," said Wisdo.

Protecting your home from termites is all about proactive measures. Tampa ranks number 4 in the country when it comes to termite problems, according to Terminix.

  1. Check the eaves and wood trim all around your home.  If there are cracks or holes, Wisdo says be sure to caulk and then paint them.
  2. Treat antique/ yard sale furniture before bringing it into your home; it could be infested with termites.
  3. If you shop online, be sure to take your items out of their shipping boxes and immediately throw the box away.  Insects and other pests could be living in those boxes!