When it comes to destructive insects, drywood termites are right at the top of the list. While not as destructive as subterranean termites, this termite type is no slouch in terms of how much damage they can do. Today, we're going to give you a quick rundown of what you can expect from drywood termites and what you can do to protect your property.
Drywood termites target wood that other termites turn their noses up at. This is good and bad. The good news is that they're likely to create noticeable damage because they're not going to be feeding on rotting wood in dark, moist locations. The bad news is that they feed on perfectly sound wood that is undecayed. That means a brand new home can be attacked by these insects. They'll also feed on hardwood furniture and other objects made of hardwood.
Drywood termites don't require contact with the soil around your home. They can get directly into your home and create an aerial nest. You won't find mud tubes on your foundation walls if you have these termites.
Drywood Termite Prevention - Since these termites attack your home from the air, the most important preventative step you can take is to seal entry points around windows, doors, and exterior penetrations.
You're not likely to see drywood worker termites unless you do some renovations. They tend to hide from the light as the sun causes them to dry up and die. You may, however, see drywood termite swarmers. These are winged male and female reproductives. Unfortunately, these winged termites aren't produced until a nest has matured. This can take years.
If you see swarmers in your Tucson home, it is a sign that your home has already been damaged for years. But it is still good to be able to recognize them when you see them. The primary identifying feature of a termite alate are rounded wings. This rounded appearance occurs because all four of the termite's wings stack directly on top of each other, rather than in two stacks of two, like the wings of an ant. You'll also notice that the wings hang quite a ways past the abdomen of the swarmer - doubling its length.
Other Warning Signs
Drywood termites give a few helpful signs when they infest a Tucson home. Do routine inspections for these signs to protect your home from extensive damage.
- Frass: The waste products of drywood termites are called frass. You may be able to find frass on window sills, floors, and surfaces. Keep in mind that frass may also be pushed out in the voids within your walls, where you can't see it.
- Kickout holes: These insects create tiny holes in hardwood which are used to push the frass out of their tunnels. These holes can be difficult to see as they are only about 1mm in diameter, and there may be a paper-like substance blocking the holes.
- Hollow wood: This is not a great way to find out that you have drywood termites, but you should be aware of it. If you tap on a thick, wood timber and it sounds hollow, there may be termite tunnels inside.
- Swarmers: As mentioned above, swarmers can be a warning sign of a drywood termite infestation. Keep in mind that these winged termites may swarm and disappear before you see them. If they do, you might find their shed wings as evidence.
Drywood Termite Treatments
It can be difficult to treat these termites. A colony will usually start out inside one timber. When swarmers are created and new colonies are formed in new timbers, a treatment of one timber will not arrest the entire infestation. There are also many DIY treatments that promise to get rid of drywood termites but actually do nothing. If you apply these, you might think you've arrested the problem only to find out later that you've only allowed the termites to continue to damage your property.
How To Protect Your Tucson Property From Drywood Termites
Routine inspections and appropriate treatments are the best protection from these destructive insects. We strongly recommend having a licensed and experienced professional handle this for you. A professional has specialized tools and training. As always, we'd like to remind you that the service team here at Pest Friends is always available to assist you with all of your pest concerns.
We can guide you toward an effective one-time or year-round solution for termites, other wood-destroying organisms, and the long list of common pests we battle in our Tucson service area. It's easy to get started. Hop over to our contact page and request a pest control evaluation. We'll come take a look and let you know what you're up against. It pays to have a friend in the business. Reach out to Pest Friends for advanced termite control today. We also provide commercial pest control for Tucson businesses.