Termite Activity in Florida
Termites are active across the state of Florida, including in Pensacola, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Miami.
What Types of Termites Are in Florida?
Both drywood termites and subterranean termites are known to damage homes in Florida. Dampwood termites also are common in central and southern Florida. However, dampwood termites are less likely to damage homes than subterranean and drywood termites due to their high moisture requirements.
Florida is home to several termite species that have not been found in any other states in the U.S., including:
- The Asian subterranean termite (Coptotermes gestroi) is native to southeast Asia. It has been found in Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other South Florida cities.
- The nose termite (Nasutitermes costalis) is native to the Caribbean. It was first discovered in Dania Beach (Broward County), Fla., in 2001.
- Florida dampwood termites are only found in Florida. There are three species of Florida dampwood termites: Neotermes castaneus, Neotermes jouteli and Neotermes luykxi.
Are Formosan Termites in Florida?
Formosan termites are very active in Florida. In fact, South Florida is the only area in the world that is home to both the Asian subterranean termite and the Formosan termite.
When Do Termites Swarm in Florida?
Because Florida is warm and humid, different termite species swarm throughout the year. The swarming habits of the most common species in Florida are described below.
- The eastern subterranean termite swarms in daylight between October and February. (In other states, this species swarms from February to May.)
- The dark southeastern subterranean termite usually swarms in daylight between March and June.
- The light southeastern subterranean termite swarms in daylight from December to April.
- The Formosan termite swarms at night during the late spring.
- The tropical rough-headed drywood termite swarms at night, from April through July.
- The tropical smooth-headed drywood termite can swarm any time of the year. Most colonies swarm in the afternoon between March and May.
- The western drywood termite has been identified during the day along both coasts in Florida. Swarms have been reported for every month in Florida, except December.
- The southeastern drywood termite swarms at night, typically in the spring.
- All three Florida dampwood termite species swarm at dusk or at night. Neotermes castaneus tends to swarm in the late fall or early winter. The other two Neotermes species swarm in the late spring or summer.
More Information about Termites in Florida
According to Termite Infestation Probability Zones (TIP Zones), Florida is located in TIP Zone #1 (very heavy), which means the potential for termite damage is considered significant. Areas with higher probabilities for termite activity require more termite control measures to meet International Residential Code building standards for new homes than areas with less frequent activity.
The tropical rough-headed drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis) is one of the most destructive drywood termite species in the U.S. Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, St. Petersburg and Tampa all have heavy populations of this species. This termite is sometimes called the West Indian drywood termite.
In states like Florida where termites are very active and widespread, it is essential to maintain an effective termite prevention and control program. If you own a home in Florida, talk to your termite control expert about methods to help protect your home from termite infestations and damage.