Drywood termite season is here

September 13, 2019

September is the start of football season. Clark, your neighborly pest control, termite, and lawn care expert, doesn’t want your home to get sacked by drywood termites.

While not as well-known as their subterranean relatives, drywood termites will nest in areas homeowners typically don’t go – attics, under eaves and overhangs, along the roofline. Now is as good a time as ever to get your house checked.

Drywood termites are found mostly along the Pacific coast and sometimes into the Central Valley. Sometimes drywood termites are confused with dampwood termites, which also are found in central and northern coastal areas in California.

While both drywood and dampwood termites nest in wood, not in soil, and do not require soil contact, dampwood termites require wood that is high in moisture content, whereas drywood termites do not. Dampwood termites also tend to be much larger than drywood termites.

Drywood termites are cryptic insects that are difficult to detect with the naked eye. They live deep inside wood, and aside from periods when they swarm, or when repair work is being done on infested homes, they are seldom seen. Colonies are small – usually fewer than 1,000 individuals – and usually are widely dispersed and can take years to mature.

The most common sighting of drywood termites are flying adult reproductives, also called swarmers, which occur during daytime hours in late summer and fall during mating flights.

Drywood termites will colonize in attics where temperatures may exceed 131 degrees Fahrenheit. There, they locate their colonies in wood with more favorable temperatures, such as ceiling joists that have bottom sides cooled by the air conditioner below.

Areas of a home that are most susceptible to drywood termites include:

  • Wood siding and wooden roof shingles
  • Wood framing and supports in attics
  • Wood molding and framing around windows and doors
  • Eaves and overhangs
  • Protected joints or crevices in and around doors

What are the signs of a drywood termite infestation? Drywood termites eat across the wood’s natural grain, eating both spring and summer wood. They will make chambers connected by tunnels whose walls are smooth, as if they are finely sanded.

While you may initially detect the presence of drywood termites when they swarm, or if fecal pellets – sometimes described as looking like coffee grounds – are discovered, inspecting and determining the extent of an infestation requires a highly trained eye.

With years of experience dealing with this destructive adversary, Clark recommends a professional termite inspection by one of Clark Pest Control’s highly trained inspectors.

During the inspection, Clark’s inspectors will look for feeding damage, shed wings, fecal pellets, and kick-out holes (small holes less than an inch in diameter) through which termites push fecal pellets out of the wood.

After the inspection, Clark will analyze the findings and assess whether treatment is needed, and what kind of treatment plan will deliver the best results.

Drywood termite treatments are often categorized as whole-structure or localized. Whole-structure treatments are defined as a simultaneous treatment of all infestations, accessible and inaccessible, in a structure. Localized or spot treatments are more restrictive, and are often applied to a single board or small group of boards.

Ask about Clark’s exclusive Termite Infestation Program (T.I.P.), which covers your home from future infestations and damages from both subterranean and drywood termites. A full inspection must be done to see if your home qualifies. Then, for a small monthly fee, you can avoid costly out-of-pocket treatment and repair expenses that not only will give you peace of mind, but save you money and headaches down the line.

If you suspect your home has a drywood termite problem, call California’s trusted, friendly termite expert, Clark, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or send an email to clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.