According to Termites.com, the average homeowner can expect to pay around $3,000 to have any termite-related damage to their home repaired. There are three types of termites that typically invade homes: subterranean, dampwood, and drywood. Typically, drywood termites are found in homes in the southern United States, and if you are affected, these insatiable pests can destroy any wooden structures in your house very quickly. Here is some invaluable information about drywood termites—including how to identify this common pest, prevent them from getting into your house, and get rid of them if you are already suffering through an infestation:
Identifying Drywood Termites
Typically, drywood termites will live in small colonies in dead wood, such as felled, decaying trees. However, in the absence of abundant dead wood, drywood termites will infest the wooden framing, studs, and wood furniture in your home. The colony is divided into two types of termites: winged alates and soldiers. Several alates will fly out of established colonies, a process called swarming, in order to find mates and create separate colonies in dead trees, or unfortunately, your home.
Unlike subterranean termites, another common type of this pest, drywood termites won't colonize in the ground and instead will live inside the wooden structure itself. The absence of tunnels and termites in the soil surrounding your home is one way an exterminator will determine whether the pest in your home is a drywood termite.
Another way to determine whether the pest in your home is a drywood termite is to examine the wood throughout your home, especially the attic, and look for small piles of frass, or excrement. Because drywood termites reside in arid climates, the pests will excrete very dry, small pellets called frass. The termites typically push the frass out of the tunnels, creating small, noticeable piles. If you notice small piles of frass, this is a sign you may have an infestation.
Prevent Drywood Termites from Entering Your Home
Drywood termites live in small colonies, but this doesn't mean they won't cause significant damage. Luckily, there are several ways you can prevent these destructive pests from entering your home, including the following ways.
Locate any gaps and small holes around your gas and water lines and seal them with caulk. Additionally, covering any vents in your home with a very fine screen will also help block entry.
Treat the existing wood in your home with an insecticide that is formulated for use on drywood termites, such as sodium borate. It is important to treat as many wooden surfaces as possible, but pay special attention to your attic. The dry conditions are an ideal spot for drywood termites to thrive.
Store any firewood or lumber away from your home. Dead wood is very attractive to drywood termites, and piles of lumber or firewood will prove particularly attractive.
What to Do If You Are Suffering an Infestation
If you suspect your home is infested by drywood termites, don't hesitate to contact a professional exterminator immediately. The exterminator will help you determine whether the termites are the drywood variety and whether the infestation is active. If there is an active colony of drywood termites in your home, the exterminator will offer you several options to eliminate the pests.
For example, if the infestation is minor, the exterminator may use an injectable insecticide to spot-treat certain areas of your home. However, if there are several colonies inside your home, the exterminator may recommend that you fumigate your house. Both of these treatments are highly effective because unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites won't seek refuge in the soil outside your home.
Drywood termites can cause serious damage to your home. If you suspect your home is infested with drywood termites, don't hesitate to contact a professional exterminator to help you get rid of these pests once and for all.
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