Termites in Winter

Termites are sensitive to moisture and temperature.  Their preferred habitat is dark, warm, and moist.  Termites approach a home by tunneling through the soil.  Their entrances into a home must maintain a presence of moisture and warmth.  This is the main purpose of termite tubes.  However, when temperatures reach extremes, termites in the soil must burrow deeper in order to maintain their optimal temperature.  Termites in the winter do not hibernate. During cold months their activity level in the soil is greatly reduced.  However, if a colony is established in a warm home and is able to maintain a moist connection to the soil, then termite activity may remain steady through cold winter months.

Termites are difficult to locate in a home, and may be slowly eating away the wooden structure without drawing attention.  Homeowners may have the false assumption that they are safe during winter months.  It is true that termites are less likely to tunnel into a home during the winter, because they would have to burrow through frozen soil.  However, a previously established infestation in the home can remain active all year round.

Do not relax your vigilance for termites in winter months.  Just because you cannot see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.  Several pest control companies offer free inspections.  If your home is declared free of termites by a reputable termite company at the onset of winter, then you can rest easy.  If termites swarm indoors in the spring, it is a strong indicator that a colony has been eating your home throughout the winter.