Drywood Termites – What’s the Difference?

Do you live in the Southern United States, the Gulf Coast, Arizona or the coast of California? If so, then you may be susceptible to drywood termites. Drywood termite treatment costs can vary from state to state and region to region. It is important, however, to have some background knowledge about these insects before deciding upon which option is right for you.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are a class of termite that lives in dry wood. They live in colonies similar to other termites and this colony exists from a singe original pair of termites. Because of this reason, drywood termite colonies develop slowly and are smaller than other larger termite colonies. But, don’t fool yourself. They can cause as much termite damage as any other type of termite.

How do you know if you have a drywood termite infestation? The typical sign is the characteristic pellet that the drywood termite expels. The 滅白蟻價錢 way that they expel their feces is through something called a “kick hole”. It is through this kick hole that you can usually see the pellet. This is when you should suspect that you have a drywood termite infestation. They like to eat the soft spring wood and follow the grain of the wood. So, look for these characteristics in your home to determine if you have an infestation or not.

The termites that reproduce are called swarmers or alates. They can have wings, or even be wingless. The coloring of these reproductive termites can vary in range from light yellow to tan and the wing color can be clear or even a light gray. They are not very big, averaging about 7/16 of an inch long and this includes the wings! Be careful though. Even if the primary reproducing termites die, there are immature termites that can reproduce as well. They are typically wingless, range in color from beige to white, range in size from ¼ to 3/8 inches long, and comprise the majority of the drywood termite colony. They can also gather food and take care of the queen. Since the immature comprise the majority of the colony, there are no real “worker” termites in this species. However, there are soldier termites in this species. They are similar in color to the immatures and are about 5/16 inch long.

It takes several years for a termite colony to mature. Once this has happened, the winged termites leave and establish colonies of their own. They typically have their swarming activity occur at dusk or during the night. They like to fly towards areas that have the greatest amount of light, such as around lights or illuminated windows. This is unless you are a termite living in Arizona! This swarming occurs in mid to late summer with certain species swarming during the winter months, such as January or February, for example.

Drywood termites get their food through the cellulose that is found in the wood. This is accomplished by the immatures ingesting the cellulose, using special enzymes to break it down so that it can be absorbed, and it is then shared with the younger termites, soldiers and termites that reproduce.

The main difference between drywood termites and other types of termites is that drywood termites do not need to be around moisture in order to survive. They don’t need to contact the soil because they derive the moisture they need from the wood and what is produced during digestion. Because of this reason, look for nests to be located in wall supports under eaves as well as in the roof. They are also found in dead wood around homes as well as near a leaky pipe or water heaters.

Drywood Termite Damage

The damage done by drywood termites can be severe. Their primary habitat is dead trees, branches, brush and firewood. When new homes or other buildings are being constructed, termites can infest. They can enter though a variety of areas, including vents in the foundation, under eaves or wood shingles, or attics. They prefer to wedge themselves into narrow places to begin tunneling.

Do You Have a Drywood Termite Infestation?

The main sign of a drywood termite infestation is the classic pellet that is found or even the actual presence of alates in the windowsill of your home or near lights you may have outside. If there are alates found inside your home, then you are in trouble as this typically means that the infestation is within the structure itself. If there are alates outside your home it does not necessarily mean that your home has been infested though. Infestation can also be present if you find wings discarded on windowsills too. They spend their entire lives inside wood.

Drywood termite pellets are distinctive and are used to identify an infestation. They are hard and elongated and have rounded heads with six distinctive flat or concavely depressed sides. They are usually light tan in color. So, watch out for these when you are looking for an infestation.

Drywood Termite Control

There are many ways to prevent a termite infestation from occurring. You can removed the wood that has been damaged, use chemicals to prevent further damage from occurring, and reduce the potential from infestations occurring by getting your home inspected.

Termite Inspection

So, what exactly does termite treatment cost in this situation? Well, first, if you choose to, you can inspect your home yourself. This inspection should be thorough so that you can determine the extent of the damage done to your home. The majority of people, however, use a pest control service that is reliable. The importance of a thorough inspection is essential because it will determine what measures need to be taken. It is recommended to have a professional service inspect your home in conjunction with a self-inspection to double-check.

There are specific areas in your home that need a thorough inspection. Outdoors, these include wood sidings, exterior trim, corners or eaves paying close attention to spider webs for pellets, window and door frames, sills, roof eaves, rafters, porch roofs, supports, trellises and stairs. You should also look into electrical meters or fuse boxes for pellets as well. Pay close attention to roof shingles and wood trim as well.

Termite Prevention

As with anything in life, prevention is key. In this case, you have to deny the termite access to your wood through sanitation practices and alterations in the design of your home. One of the best things that you can do is remove stored firewood, lumber and any dead trees away from your home. Screen off your attics and keep your window screens maintained. Before you paint your house, seal off any cracks or crevices with something such as wood putty. Drywood termites cannot infest your home if there is a good coat of paint to prevent them from entering. You may also want to consider using pressure-treated wood. Although it is more expensive, it will save you in the long run if you live in an area that is known to be infested with termites.

Termite Treatment

Treatment is what we hope to never have to do, but here are some ways to help you navigate through it all. Termite treatment cost can vary depending on the extent on infestation, the damage done, and which company you choose. If the damage is minimal, you can choose to have the wood replaced. You can replace the wood with pressure-treated wood in this situation that will prevent against future termites as well as wood decay.

The other option is drywood termite fumigation. This is considered when the damage is extensive and it cannot be fixed by simply replacing the wood. Your home has to first be covered with a tarpaulin and then the gas is released. It will seep into all cracks and crevices and will kill the termite colonies. You will have to vacate your home in this situation as it is very hazardous. You need to get a licensed professional to do this service for you. Do not try this yourself because of the danger. You should remove all household plants, pets and food prior to the fumigation process.

There are also localized or termite spot treatments that can be done. This can use chemicals or it can be completed by non-chemical means as well. Some of the chemical examples include silica gel dusts, liquid nitrogen and liquid organophosphates. Nonchemical means include microwave devices as well as high voltage electricity.

When you decide to contact a company, make sure you do a thorough background check of the company as well as the product that they use. It is recommended to contact many different companies to do a price comparison and get different estimates for their services. Also, see if they have any warranties or guarantees for the service that they provide. Lastly, it is helpful to look at any customer complaints that a company may have and if they are licensed or not.

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