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How to Get Rid of Drywood Termites
Introduction to Drywood Termites
Drywood termites are a type of wood-destroying insects that can cause severe damage to your home if not dealt with promptly. Unlike their subterranean counterparts, drywood termites live inside the wood they consume, making it essential to identify and eliminate them before they cause extensive structural damage. In this article, we will discuss the signs of drywood termite infestation and effective methods to get rid of them.
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Signs of Drywood Termites Infestation
Frass and Kick-out Holes
One of the telltale signs of drywood termite infestation is the presence of frass, a powdery substance consisting of termite droppings and wood particles. Termites create small holes in the wood, called kick-out holes, to push the frass out. If you notice frass near wooden structures, it’s a strong indication of an active infestation.
As drywood termites consume wood from the inside, the affected wood may produce a hollow sound when tapped. If you suspect an infestation, tap on wooden surfaces with a screwdriver or a similar object and listen for a change in the sound.
Swarms of Winged Termites
Mature drywood termites develop wings and leave their colonies to form new ones. If you see swarms of winged termites inside or near your home, it’s a sign that you have an infestation.
Effective Methods to Eliminate Drywood Termites
One non-chemical method to eliminate drywood termites is heat treatment. Professionals use specialized equipment to raise the temperature of infested wood to a level that termites cannot survive. This method is effective but may cause damage to some materials in your home.
Cold treatment, or cryonite treatment, involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze the termites. This method is less invasive than heat treatment but may not be as effective, as termites may escape to unaffected areas.
Electrocution is another non-chemical method to kill termites. A professional will use a high-voltage electric device to electrocute termites within the wood. This method can be effective, but it requires precision to avoid damaging the surrounding materials.
Liquid termiticides are chemicals specifically designed to eliminate termites. To apply this treatment, a professional will drill holes into the infested wood and inject the termiticide. The termites will come into contact with the chemical and spread it to other colony members, eventually killing the entire colony. However, this method may not be suitable for all situations, as the chemicals can be toxic to humans and pets if not handled properly.
Foaming termiticides work similarly to liquid termiticides, but they expand upon application, ensuring better coverage within the wood. This method is particularly effective for treating areas that are difficult to reach with liquid termiticides.
Baiting systems involve placing bait stations containing a slow-acting poison around your home. Termites consume the bait and bring it back to their colony, where it is shared with other members, eventually killing the entire colony. Baiting systems can be an effective long-term solution for controlling drywood termite infestations, but they may take time to show results.
Preventing Future Infestations
To prevent future infestations, it’s crucial to conduct regular inspections of your home for signs of termite activity. Pay special attention to wooden structures, including furniture, and look for signs such as frass, hollow-sounding wood, and swarms of winged termites.
Eliminate Moisture and Maintain Ventilation
Although drywood termites prefer dry wood, maintaining proper ventilation and moisture control in your home can help prevent other types of termites from infesting your property. Ensure that your home has proper ventilation and fix any water leaks or moisture problems promptly.
Treat and Seal Exposed Wood
To make your home less attractive to termites, treat exposed wood with a borate-based solution, which acts as a deterrent to termites. Additionally, seal any cracks or openings in wooden structures to prevent termites from gaining access.
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Getting rid of drywood termites can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it’s possible to eliminate them and prevent future infestations. By understanding the signs of an infestation, employing effective treatment methods, and taking preventive measures, you can protect your home from these destructive pests.
- How can I tell if I have drywood termites or subterranean termites?Drywood termites live within the wood they consume, while subterranean termites live in the soil and build mud tubes to access wood. If you find frass and kick-out holes in the wood, it’s likely a drywood termite infestation. Mud tubes are a sign of subterranean termites.
- How fast do drywood termites cause damage?Drywood termites can cause significant damage over time, but they typically work more slowly than subterranean termites. It may take several years for noticeable damage to occur, depending on the size of the colony and the availability of food.
- Can I treat a drywood termite infestation myself?Some treatment methods can be done by homeowners, such as applying borate-based solutions to exposed wood. However, most treatments, especially chemical and non-chemical methods, require professional expertise and equipment to ensure effectiveness and safety.
- Are drywood termites dangerous to humans?While drywood termites do not pose a direct threat to human health, they can cause significant structural damage to homes, potentially leading to unsafe living conditions.
- How long does it take to get rid of drywood termites?The time it takes to get rid of drywood termites depends on the treatment method used and the extent of the infestation. Non-chemical methods like heat treatment and electrocution can provide immediate results, while chemical treatments and baiting systems may take several weeks to months to eliminate the entire colony. Regular monitoring and follow-up treatments may be necessary to ensure complete eradication of the infestation.
Questions other homeowners have asked Termite Fumigation:
how to prepare for termite tenting
Please watch the video below to help you understand the process. Feel free to call to schedule an appointment!
How long does termite tenting last
Typically it will take three full days to kill all termites. We will walk you through the process to ensure all safety steps are completed. See your tent fumigation list.