Signs You Have Drywood Termites
Drywood termites relish the hot summers of Austin, Texas. They can thrive near or inside your house for years without your knowledge, silently eating away at wood and cellulose-based materials.
Drywood termites do not need soil as a water source, nor any contact with the ground, unlike their Subterranean termite cousins. They get all the moisture they need for survival from the wood they ingest. Or they produce water themselves through oxidative metabolism.
Drywood termites live in and eat wood materials (from baseboards to furniture, attic structures to firewood), so they don't need to forage or hunt for food like most other insects, such as Carpenter Ants.
What Do Drywood Termites Look Like?
Drywood termites range in length from one-third to one inch. The soldiers are dark brown or black with square-shaped heads and powerful mandibles for fighting. Larger than the other termites in their colony, a soldier's job is to protect the colony from predators.
Reproductive termites have light yellow bodies when they're immature. As adults, they grow transparent wings and their coloring darkens. Their primary role is to leave the nest, swarm, and mate to create sub-colonies or form new neighboring colonies.
The workers create and maintain the chambers, cells, and tunnels of the nest. They also take on feeding and grooming for the entire colony.
What are the Signs that Drywood Termites have Invaded Your Home?
An unmistakable sign of Drywood termites is the sight of a swarm. Attracted to light sources, you may find them swarming around windows or sliding doors. They will also fly into structures such as sheds, garages, and homes in search of cracks in eaves, windows or door frames, attics, or trim work.
Drywood termites are weak fliers (you can easily catch one in your hand during a swarm) and they don't travel far from the original colony. They choose a place to land, shed their wings, and crawl about in search of mates. If mating is successful after a swarm, the pairs become kings and queens of a new colony and are mates for life.
A typical swarm lasts between thirty and forty minutes. A colony swarms only once per year during a hot sunny day or warm summer evening, often after heavy rainfall. Swarming ants, seen at other times of the year, are frequently mistaken for termites.
The sight of discarded wings around doors and windows after a swarm is a sign of Drywood termite activity. If they are swarming inside your home, it is unlikely they will survive long enough to form a new colony. But it is also an infestation.
Depending on the sub-species of Drywood termite, it can take up to four years to produce swarmers within a new colony. In the meantime, they are silently eating away at the wood structures they inhabit on your property.
Drywood termite feces produces small dry pellets. The workers expel fecal pellets out of the nest through "kick-out" holes. The presence of pellets, sometimes found in piles that look similar to sawdust, are characteristic signs of a Drywood termites.
You can also inspect wood surfaces above piles of fecal pellets and see the tiny kick-out holes. Hollow sounding wood and clicking noises are also indicators of a nest.
Drywood Termite Damage
Structural damage is the most expensive damage caused by Drywood termites. The problem is, you probably won't know your home is being eaten from the inside out for years.
It happens gradually, and once you notice it, there is usually substantial damage. Think of all the wood in your home and where termites can hide inside of it-siding, flooring (including laminate and carpet), ceilings, attics, basements, foundations, walls, and furniture. This might require drywall repair or professional handyman services, to fix the damage.
Upon careful inspection, Drywood termite damage looks a lot like water damage or wood rot. You may also see the tunnels and chambers within the wood or tiny pinprick holes in the drywall.
Termite damage inside a home can also consist of structural beams, 2 x 4 studs, floor and ceiling joists, drywall, hardwood floors, window and door frames, around the chimney, eaves, fascia, and wood siding.
Subterranean Termites vs. Drywood Termites
Although both species cause significant damage to your property, treatment methods for Drywood termites differ from subterranean ones. Therefore, proper identification is essential.
Drywood termites live in small colonies, whereas subterranean termites can have colonies that comprise up to a million termites. The Drywood species lives in its food source, which is the wood of your house. Subterranean termites live outside your home in the soil. The Drywood termite needs little in the way of moisture, obtaining most of what it needs from humid air and the wood it consumes.
The Subterranean termite needs moist soil and darkness to survive. Their colony must be situated near a water source. They need to travel to their food source by way of mud tunnels, which they construct. Spotting these tunnels can help you identify them. Drywood termites often infest attics, whereas Subterranean termites choose wood surfaces closer to their nests, such as door and window frames.
How to Prevent Drywood Termite Damage
- Keep firewood, for outdoor fire pits and fireplaces, at least twenty feet away from your house. Raise it off the ground and protect it from water.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that their branches do not touch the exterior of your home.
- Remove tree stumps and keep lumber or any other type of loose timber away from the perimeter of your house.
- Seal up cracks, crevices, and holes around the exterior of your home to prevent termites from gaining access to entry points.
- Repaint cracked, peeling, or blistering surfaces where raw timber is exposed.
Drywood Termite Treatment
Even the most strident of preventative measures can’t always protect you from Drywood termites. However, there are effective measures you can take to eradicate them and prevent further damage to your property.
That’s where YardDoc comes in. We have great customer reviews and provide services within a large service area. Browse fun termite facts to learn more about this pest.
How To Get Rid Of Drywood Termites
Our pest control team will visit your home and conduct a thorough inspection. Initially, the goal is to identify the termite species invading your home so we can customize a termite treatment plan.
Should you suffer from a Drywood termite infestation, we will use pesticides that are almost 100% natural to protect your family and the environment. We may also implement localized spot treatments or fumigation, depending on the severity of the problem.
We can help with your other pest control needs, for asian beetles, cockroaches, scorpions, spiders, wasps, millipedes, bed bugs, and grubs. We set mosquito traps for mosquitoes, and keep rodents at bay with critter control.
For your peace of mind, contact us for a comprehensive inspection and let us take care of your Drywood termite concerns. Learn more about our team here.
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