Ick! Ick! Formosan termites at my Bluewater Bay, Florida home! This is a hard post for me to write. Why? Because I don’t like bugs. I also won’t be able to look at the photo of the Formosan termite once I upload it. What happened? Friday night I did something dumb. I finished cooking on my gas stove top and did not shut the burner off all the way. There was, unfortunately, a little flame going all night. The next day when I went into the kitchen, I shuddered in horror. No, there was no fire, but there were dozens of little rust colored bugs on my stove! Like 70 of them! They were apparently attracted to the little flame or the carbon dioxide that it emitted, and were sprawled and dead all over the stove top. Gross! (Sorry bug lovers!) I did not yet know that these were Formosan termite swarmers, and I called my extermination company. They were booked for four days, so I just prayed these things would not come back.
I slept in terror that night, wondering what was going on in the kitchen. I wanted to send my husband to keep checking, but he refused (guys!) The next day, none of the bugs were present… until last night! Getting ready for bed, right in my bathroom sink, there were three live ones. In the shower, four more! I screamed and called my husband. He said, “I think these are termites”, and he caught several in a little plastic bottle. I again, could barely sleep and dreaded having to make an excursion to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Today, the exterminator from Terminex finally came. I showed him the little bottle of the creatures that my husband had caught. They were still crawling around in there! (Ick!) The exterminator shook his head and said they were, indeed,Formosan termites. He said they swarm for about three weeks every year inBluewater Bay, and we had one week left! I asked why they did not have wings, and he said they drop their wings before mating. Here are other tips I learned:
1. Formosan termites are attracted to light sources after dusk. This could mean YOUR home!
2. Be concerned if you see what looks like mud or dirt spattered on your inside walls. That is the Formosan termite patching its holes.
3. Be concerned if you see several hundred Formosan termites in your Bluewater Bay home in the same area. That could be a sign of infestation.
He looked at my house and said I did not have a problem. But yes, I did!! I wanted to know how to keep them OUT!! Here was his tip:
Turn on your porch light after dusk. If you see them dancing in flight around your light, like a dozen or so, they are swarming in your area. That’s when you need to turn off your inside lights, or they will come down vent pipes to find the light source. Stay in the dark for about 2.5 hours and the swarm should be over. Guess what I will be doing tonight?
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Wendy Rulnick, Broker, has successfully helped hundreds of families sell their homes, condos and lots along the Emerald Coast of Florida. She is an ADDY award winning real estate market. Wendy sells real estate in Florida in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, Sandestin, Seaside, Crestview, Rosemary Beach, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Panama City Beach, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field.