Termites are typically known for thriving in humid environments and feeding on damp wood, so you might expect that Tucson’s dry and arid climate would keep it safe from these wood-eating insects. Unfortunately, there is a lesser-known species of termite that doesn’t need moisture from the soil, making Tucson its ideal habitat. This is the aptly named drywood termite.
Drywood termites can wreak havoc on Tucson homes and businesses, quickly making a meal of attics, door frames, siding, and more. These termites can cause serious structural damage and are extremely difficult to get rid of on your own. Knowing the signs of drywood termites could save you thousands of dollars in repairs. Let’s explore how to identify drywood termites, tips for preventing them, and what to do if you catch them on your property.
Drywood Termite Identification
Drywood termites range from light brown to creamy white in color, and have a long, narrow body. They measure between ⅜ of an inch and 1 inch in length. Alates, or swarmers, have clear or smoky gray wings. Drywood termites differ in size and appearance depending on their caste — workers, alates, or reproductives.
Unlike other species of termite, the drywood termite does not require moisture from the soil in order to survive and build nests. Drywood termites prefer to nest in dry roof materials and wooden wall supports. They may also be found in door frames, window sills, eaves, trim, siding, and even wooden furniture.
While they don’t need much water to survive, they can sometimes be found in damp wood as well, such as areas near a water heater or leaky pipe. These silent invaders frequently infest rarely-visited areas of the home such as attics and crawlspaces, so infestations often go undetected until severe structural damage has been done.
Signs Of Drywood Termite Infestations
Drywood termites are often identified by property owners when groups of alates emerge from holes in the wood. These winged termites are attracted to light and may swarm around lamps or the TV screen in the evenings. Another sign of drywood termites is the blistering of wood surfaces, which may indicate that termites are tunneling close to the surface of the structure.
Discarded wings that accumulate around window sills can also be a telltale sign of drywood termites. Six-sided wooden pellets, which will be the color of the wood the termites have been eating, may accumulate in piles near the infested wood. If you notice any of these signs of drywood termites, you should call a pest control professional as soon as possible.
Preventing Drywood Termites In Tucson
The best way to prevent drywood termite damage to your property is to keep them from getting inside in the first place. Here are some measures every Tucson property owner should take to protect against drywood termites:
- Store firewood and lumber at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Install mesh screens on all openings into your home, including doors, windows, and vents, particularly ones leading to crawlspaces and attics.
- Seal unfinished wood both inside and outside your home, using paint, sealant, or varnish.
- Inspect your home for cracks, crevices, or holes and fill them to prevent termites from entering.
- Use caution when bringing secondhand wooden items such as furniture or picture frames into your home, as they may be infested with drywood termites.
These prevention tips will help reduce your chances of a drywood termite infestation in your home, but if an infestation does occur, be sure to reach out to a professional pest control company.
Effective Drywood Termite Control In Tucson, AZ
Tucson is notorious for termites, and it is a problem most property owners will deal with at some point. Termite damage is one of the most costly repairs for homeowners in Arizona, especially if the infestation goes undetected for a long period.
Drywood termites are a challenging pest to control, and DIY solutions are not effective in the long run. Termite colonies can number over 100,000 and be almost impossible to fully eradicate without professional assistance. Luckily, Pest Friends provides effective termite treatments in Tucson to keep your property safe from these destructive pests.
Pest Friends is a locally-owned business that proudly serves the Tucson area with modern and eco-friendly pest control. We have more than 35 years of experience in the industry, are accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and provide a Pest Friends Guarantee for your total satisfaction.
We offer both termite prevention and elimination, and there is no termite challenge we can’t treat. Whether you want to take proactive action to protect your property from drywood termites, or you have spotted signs of an infestation, Pest Friends has got you covered. Don’t let drywood termites eat your home from the inside out, schedule an inspection with Pest Friends today.