What You Need to Know About Termites in Louisiana

Due to the state’s climate, swarms are possible throughout the year in Louisiana, and the potential for termite damage is very high.
Written by Andrew Biro
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Thanks to a wet, humid climate,
Louisiana
is at high risk for termite damage—infestations are possible throughout the state at almost any time of year, but especially during spring and summer.
Homeowners living in Louisiana need to know what to look for when it comes to possible termite infestations as well as when to expect swarms and how to treat termite damage.
Ill-preparedness can cost a fortune when it comes to termites, so it’s best to learn what you can before you need to know it. Fortunately, home and auto insurance super app
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How to tell if you have a termite infestation

Termite colonies are capable of causing extensive damage in a relatively short period, making them very dangerous if you fail to catch them early on. Large infestations can eat through a whopping one pound of wood per day, which can seriously jeopardize the integrity of your house.
Check for these common signs of termite infestation to minimize the risk of potential damage:
  • Hollow-sounding walls: If you knock on walls or other flat surfaces of your home and hear an irregular hollow sound, termites have probably eaten through the wood on the other side.
  • Damaged wood: Termite-damaged wood will take on a honeycomb-like pattern.
  • Discarded wings: Only reproductive termites have wings, so if you start finding discarded wings along window sills, below windows, around doors, or near any other home entryway, there is probably a colony present.
  • Droppings: Termite droppings are pellet-shaped and look like piles of coffee grounds or sawdust.
  • Mud tubes: If you start finding thin, pencil-sized mud tubes along your home’s foundation, you probably have subterranean termites.
Other common signs of infestation are tiny round holes in the drywall, swollen flooring, bubbling or peeling paint, and warped window and door frames.

Are termites a problem in Louisiana?

Unfortunately, termites are a problem across all of Louisiana, and the state is considered a Termite Infestation Probability (TIP) Zone #1, meaning the likelihood of termite damage is very high. It’s estimated that Louisiana homes and buildings sustain more damage annually from Formosan termites than any other state, with over $300 million a year being spent on termite control and repairs.
Being informed about termites goes hand and hand with being a homeowner in Louisiana, and doing so will help prevent future headaches. Here are the two most common types of termites in Louisiana and when to look for them.

Subterranean termites

As their species name suggests, subterranean termites—including the formidable Formosan termite—build huge underground colonies in wet or moist soil, giving them easy access to your home’s foundation.
Subterranean termites, especially the Formosan, are the most destructive type, which means you’ll want to keep a sharp lookout for swarms. Eastern subterranean termites swarm in the mornings from February to May, while Formosans tend to swarm at night during the late spring. The dark, arid-land, and light southeastern subterranean termites all swarm during the day, from March through June, spring through fall, and September through December, respectively. 

Drywood termites

Drywood termites, on the other hand, feed primarily on hard, dry wood and do not require the high levels of moisture that their subterranean and dampwood counterparts do. Drywood termites frequently enter homes through outdoor sources of wood close to a home’s exterior and furniture.
Expect swarms during the spring and southern months. Southeastern drywood termites typically swarm at night during the spring, whereas tropical rough-headed drywood termites usually swarm at night from April to July. Western drywood termites swarm during the day in summer, and dark southern drywood termites tend to swarm during summer afternoons.

What to do if you have termites

If you think you’ve got a termite infestation, there are a host of ways to attack the problem, some of which you can do yourself. 
  • Fumigation: The worst and largest termite infestations are most effectively treated through fumigation of the property. A pest control expert will erect a giant tent around your home and pump a chemical gas into it, which will kill any termites living in the structure. This method requires you, your family, and any pets to vacate the premises for at least 24 hours.
  • Liquid pesticide barrier: One of the most effective ways to treat subterranean termites is with a liquid pesticide barrier. This method involves digging a small trench or moat around the perimeter of your home, usually by an exterminator, who will then apply a lasting chemical termiticide that will kill any termites who try to cross the barrier.
  • Non-chemical treatments: If you don’t have a full-blown infestation, and you don’t want to resort to harsh chemical pesticides, there are a few options at your disposal. In the event you are building a house, you can make use of a physical steel mesh barrier around the base of your home, to be integrated during the construction phase.

How to save money on homeowners insurance

In most cases, a standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover damages caused by termite infestations, so it’s up to you to try and prevent infestations before they happen to avoid paying for damages out of pocket.
Fortunately, you can count on your homeowners policy to cover most other common perils, which makes finding the right insurance plan all the more important. Licensed home and
auto insurance
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Jerry
can help you find the best policies on the market without having to sacrifice coverage for affordability.
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FAQs

As termites are active throughout the state, most homes in Louisiana will experience termite damage at some point in their history, with older homes being particularly susceptible. For this reason, new homeowners are recommended to consult with termite control experts, so that a termite prevention and control plan may be set up.
For homeowners living in Louisiana, it is recommended you have pest control experts inspect your home for termites each year to determine when or if they need to be re-treated. Most chemical treatments last anywhere between a few years and a decade, but it’s best to have a professional give their opinion about your current conditions.
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