When termites exhibit destructive behavior by damaging wood in and around homes, most homeowners assume the culprit is the subterranean termite that lives in soil underneath their home. There is another termite, however, that doesn’t get down and dirty, but still poses a significant threat – the drywood termite.
Drywood termites live above ground in exterior-facing wood in and around your home. Flying adult reproductives – called swarmers – sometimes can be seen around the your home’s exterior. For the most part, however, drywood termites are obscure insects that are difficult to detect. They live deep inside wood, and except during swarming season – late summer and early fall – or when repair work is being done on an infested home, they are seldom seen.
Their colonies are smaller in size – usually fewer than 1,000 termites – compared to colonies of the more common subterranean termite, which can number into the thousands. Drywood termite colonies also can be more widely dispersed in a home, and can take years to mature.
Drywood termites excavate small tunnels into the wood, close it behind them, and create a hollowed-out chamber that depletes the wood’s structural integrity. They can stay dormant for extended periods of time – more than a year – and then emerge again, stronger and hungrier than ever. They also are creatures of habit, and will re-infest the exact same location in a home, causing further damage.
Four signs that drywood termites are infesting a home
1. Large numbers of flying insects on the exterior (and sometimes on the interior) of your home that are focused on the wood.
2. Discarded wings on windowsills.
3. Hollow-sounding or visibly damaged wood that appears honeycombed or carved out. If you can easily make a hole with a pocketknife or flat-blade screwdriver in the wood, it might be drywood termite damage.
4. Unexplained piles of what looks like coarse grains of sand (these piles are termite fecal pellets sifted out of wood by the drywood termites).
It takes a well-trained termite inspector to know where to look for drywood termite activity in a structure, correctly analyze the findings, assess whether treatment is needed, and recommend a treatment that will be most effective.
Drywood termite treatments are often categorized as a whole structure or localized. Whole-structure treatments are defined as the 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.
For maximum protection against termites, look into Clark Pest Control’s exclusive Termite Infestation Protection program (T.I.P.), which will cover your home from future infestations and damages caused by all species of termites.
A complete termite inspection must be performed to determine if your home qualifies. Then, for a small monthly fee, you can avoid costly out-of-pocket treatment and repair expenses that can provide peace of mind and save you money and headaches in the future.
If you think your home might have drywood termites, call or text California’s trusted, friendly termite expert, Clark, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.