Termites are considered decomposers in nature. They breakdown dead wood that accumulates in and around soil creating a beneficial by-product that is returned to the soil as hummus. Drywood termites are one of the most destructive insect pests of wood in the United States. They cause in excess of $1.5 Billion in damages to homes and commercial structures each year. Their presence goes unnoticed until damage is discovered or a swarm occurs within the structure. Drywood termites are the single most destructive insect to homes in Southern California.
Drywood termites are social insects that live in colonies in sound, dry wood. In comparison to other termites drywood colonies are relatively small (a few thousand termites), They neither live in the ground nor maintain contact with soil, and they do not build mud tubes. Drywood termites produce characteristic pellets. These pellets are eliminated through what are known as “kick holes”. Pellets will accumulate on surfaces below kick holes and are usually the first sign of drywood termite infestations. Drywood termites tend to cut across wood grain destroying both the soft spring wood and the harder summer growth. The other sign of possible termite infestation is termite swarmers. Drywood termite swarmers are about 7/16 inch long, including the wings. Their wings are almost clear to a smoke gray color and have few distinct veins in them. The Drywood termite swarmers are reproductive and they will leave the colony in search of a new place to begin a new colony.
Drywood termites get their food from cellulose in wood. Moisture is not as important to drywood termites as it is to subterranean termites. Drywood termites extract water from the wood they eat. They require as little as 2.5 to 3 percent moisture, but prefer wood with a moisture content of 10 percent. Drywood termites often establish nests in wooden wall supports accessed under eaves or in roof materials. Despite being capable of surviving on low wood moisture, drywood termites can also be found in wood associated with a water source such as a water heater or leaky pipe. Dead wood accumulating around a home is often a source of drywood termite infestations. A favorite place for entry is in the cracks created by drying plaster or stucco as it pulls away from window and door frames. Drywood termite enter structures through attic or foundation vents, directly through or under wood shingles, under eaves and fascia boards, and through natural cracks, joints in exposed wood trim, window and door frames and sills. For this reason thorough termite home inspections are suggested as the most effective way to determine whether your home has an active drywood termite infestation. Termite professional have the tools and training necessary to effectively assess your home for activity.
For more information on Drywood Termites or for a Free Home Termite Inspection contact the termite professionals at BugOut. Your Termite Concierge – 1 Click. 1 Call. 1 Company Does It All. 800-983-7648.