Drywood termites are a problem for many Americans, and over time can severely damage the structure of your home. Drywood termites are typically found in areas of the United States that don't experience freezing temperatures, and are known for their ability to bore deeply into wood and stay there undetected for long periods of time. Here is what you should know about detecting and treating these pests to keep your home safe.
Drywood Termite Basics
Unlike subterranean termites that require moisture to thrive, drywood termites are known for their ability to feed entirely on dry wood and require almost no moisture at all. This is why drywood termites can bore so deeply into the structure of a home and stay there for long periods of time. In fact, drywood termites are known as one of the more destructive termite species in the United States.
Detecting These Termites
Drywood termites only emerge from deep within a home's wooden structure when they swarm. Occasionally you may also see a flying matured adult, known as "swarmer," which usually means they're on the hunt for a new piece of wood to bore into.
The most common sign of drywood termites is the presence of fecal pellets, but it's often difficult to determine the extent of an infestation, as drywood termites usually disperse widely all over a house. That's why detecting these termites is best left to a pest control specialist who may have to remove parts of your wall or paneling, or peer into areas that are difficult to access.
These specialists will look for damage to your structure, fecal pellets, dead wings shed from the termite, and small bore holes. These bore holes are the most common way to find drywood termites, and are designed to allow termites to push their fecal matter out as they push deeper into your wood. Based on the shape of a drywood termite's fecal pellets, which are shaped like a hexagon, a termite specialist can determine what species of termite you're confronting.
Exterminating Drywood Termites
Due to the difficulty in exterminating drywood termites, it's recommended that you utilize a professional for removal of these pests. Treatments for infestations are characterized as either "localized" or "whole structure" depending on what kind of treatment options are employed.
Whole structure treatments are seen as the better option of the two, as they treat all areas of the house at the same time to eliminate drywood termites. Due to the fact that it's often difficult to detect all termite colonies, this is usually the best choice to ensure termites that weren't detected were also eradicated. The downside is that this treatment will usually require several days of fumigation, which will require you, your family and any pets to leave the premises for several days.
Speak with a termite specialist such as Fowler Pest Control about what will work best for your home. While drywood termites can be a real pain to detect and treat, it's essential you take care of a drywood termite infestation before your house is destroyed by these dangerous pests.