What Happens To Termites In Winter?
Some insects live in annual patterns: hatching in spring, growing big in summer, and then maturing and laying eggs of their own in fall. Other species hibernate during winter, entering a low-energy state that lets them conserve their calories until they can start finding food sources again. However, some insects never become inactive even during winter, and unfortunately, the subterranean eastern termite is part of that last category.
Much like ice on a pond, the ground freezes from the surface down, and so what subterranean termites will do is dig out a set of deeper chambers where they can warm up and stay away from the ground frost. The ground can freeze hard enough to kill a termite colony, but sadly that almost never happens in a state as far south as Maryland.
What’s even worse is that deep tunnels aren’t the only way termites can warm themselves up. If they already have a way to reach the untreated wood in your building, then they can keep warm thanks to the house’s heater. The termites have to dig lower tunnels to the wood so they don’t freeze, but thanks to the warm food they don’t have to slow down their egg or food production at all.
Winter also makes it difficult to use the most common termite-controlling method: spraying the soil around the building with a slow-acting poison that workers can bring back to the nest and slowly kill it. With the ground frozen, there’s no way for the pesticide to soak in.
Fortunately, there are alternatives. A pest control company like Bugout, Inc. can also add the poison to wood pieces that act as bait for termites. This bait might be less appealing than the warm wood of your house, but termites may still find and consume part of the wood and put an end to their colony.
The most effective time to treat a termite infestation is during a warm month, but the best time is just after you discover the problem. It might not work as well, but it’s important to act immediately to deal with the infestation.