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 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 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 滅白蟻價錢 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.