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How subterranean termites get into your house and how to stop them

Summer is the prime time for subterranean termites to swarm. And no, termites don't eat concrete or spit acid.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — As the summer continues to heat up in Central Florida, subterranean termites are scoping out where they can start new colonies. The busiest time for termite inspectors and exterminators throughout the Tampa Bay region is June and July. This is when millions of subterranean termites begin to swarm.

“If you have a house that’s infested by subterranean termites, try drawing a circle three hundred feet around your house. The nesting structure is somewhere within that circle,” said Dr. Nan-Yao Su, who heads the Subterranean Termite Lab at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Fort Lauderdale.

Dr. Su explained that one colony of subterranean termites could infest several houses in a single neighborhood.

Subterranean termites, or Formosan termites, originated in Asia in the early 1900s. By the 1950s they made their way to South Africa. And, 10 years later, they were found in Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas. During the 1980s, researchers realized subterranean termites made their way to Hallandale, Fla. And since then, almost every major city in Florida has encountered subterranean termites.

To learn more about the science of one of Florida’s most invasive species, its behaviors and how to protect your home from the wood-eating insects, check out the video below.

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