Here is what drywood termite damage looks like and how to deal with such issues.
Drywood termites present a whole range of challenges as they mostly target the wooden components of your home. The bigger problem lies in their ability to feed silently and unnoticed until the damage worsens.
To prevent this nightmare from occurring, you’ll need to be able to identify their presence and damage as soon as possible.
Having identified their presence, what remains is to seek immediate help. However, not everyone has an idea of what drywood termite damage looks like.
This article serves as a ready guide and provides all the basics about what these pests look like, the nature of the damage, and more.
About Drywood Termite Damage
Drywood termites are easily among the most destructive pests you can deal with.
Their colonies are formed in woods and they consume the same food at all levels of development. They’re mostly identified by their pale brown color which might sometimes vary from light to dark brown.
Unlike their subterranean cousins, drywood termites don’t need soil contact. All the moisture they need is obtained from the wood they feed on.
As they feed, they produce small pellets called frass. The frass produced is often used to plug up holes with some falling off of the wood to the ground.
One thing that makes drywood termites unnoticed is the nature of their feeding. These pests first create feeding galleries in woods from where they consume such wood right up to its surface, leaving only a thin layer of wood.
The damage is identified from the hollow sound the wood makes when being tapped.
Drywood termites are very resourceful when it comes to feeding on wood. A maze of galleries is formed ranging from small to large. During feeding, these pests may eat against the grain or with the grain.
Tunnels created usually look smooth.
Vulnerable Spots for Drywood Termite Damage
As the name implies, drywood termites feed on practically any wood they can find apart from cedar, black cherry, black walnut, chestnut, and honey mesquite woods which are termite-resistant.
Every building has lots of wood components ranging from walls, rafters, and roof sheathing.
Other wooden components of a home vulnerable to drywood termites include trim, siding, joists, porches, decks, steps, subfloors, floors, doors, windows, and furniture.
This is quite significant considering the fact that you could lose your home to drywood termite activity within a short time.
Drywood termites can also infest picture frames, trunks, wood cases, mantle clocks, cabinets, and coat hangers. Other potential targets for these pests include book bindings, toy blocks, wood dust brushes, and more.
Signs of Drywood Termite Damage
We’ve said that identifying drywood termite presence can be really challenging.
While this is true, there are ways to figure out whether your home is infested by these destructive pests or not. These include flying termite swarms. These typically happen in the evenings.
Also, you’re likely to find lots of broken or shed wings. What more? If you’ve seen frass scattered around, you might want to inspect further by taking a closer look at the wood.
Infested wood will sound hollow when tapped with a screwdriver or when knocked on.
You might also find pieces of dirt around your window sills, baseboards, as well as door trims. With the help of a flashlight, look out for tiny holes in your drywall.
Discolored walls might also be a sign of drywood termite presence. Mud tubes are likely to be found on furniture, inside cabinets, and on walls.
Additional signs that point to drywood termite presence include squeaky floorboards, and stuck windows and doors. Crumbling wood is also a likely sign of drywood termite presence.
The same applies to drooping wooden floors and loosened tiles.
If one or more of these conditions are evident, it’s likely that significant damage has been caused by drywood termites. You’ll have to seek urgent help from a competent pest control technician.
Also, you’ll have to take into consideration the costly repairs you’re likely to carry out.
Types of Drywood Termites
Certain types of drywood termites are common in particular regions.
Your termite problem might be caused by any of these; conehead termites, southeastern drywood termites, western drywood termites, and tropical smooth-headed drywood termites.
Any of these could be responsible for your damage. Irrespective of type, the treatment procedure is pretty much the same. None of these species presents a more significant challenge than the other.
We simply presented this piece of information to give you a better understanding of what you’re dealing with.
Is DIY Treatment a Great Idea?
Oftentimes, homeowners are tempted to perform or handle their own pest treatment.
This has been severally proven to be ineffective. One thing you should understand about termites is that every passing day, the damage caused through their feeding activity worsens.
A full-blown infestation cannot be handled through DIY methods as any delay will worsen the problem. This isn’t to say that some termites can’t be killed via DIY methods.
Instead, getting the whole problem resolved is quite difficult and you may end up incurring far greater repair costs for your damaged structure.
If you must use DIY methods, there are over-the-counter termiticide products you can apply to the problem. You’ll have to follow all instructions provided to ensure you achieve the desired results.
Even at that, you don’t have the training or expertise needed to comprehensively eliminate drywood termites.
Calling the Pros
The best way you can eliminate termites is when the pros are involved.
Trained and experienced technicians have been in this line of business for a long time. They understand what to look for and know exactly how best to apply certain treatments.
To detect the problem, these pros might use a variety of methods including acoustic emission devices, dogs, odor detectors, fiber optic devices, and movement sensitive or microwave-based devices.
These tend to provide a more accurate assessment of the drywood termite problem.
When it comes to treatment, a wide range of options exist. Based on your preferences a pest technician may decide to use certain types of products. It’s important to discuss these options with your technician.
Drywood termite damage can be extensive especially when the problem isn’t identified early enough. The best response is to have a pest management service conduct basic inspections and treatments.
Also, maintaining a treatment schedule helps prevent future infestations.