Drywood termites can do great damage to your home, but these tiny, reclusive pests are very difficult to detect. This species is known for being highly secretive and resourceful, concealing itself deep inside wooden walls, beams, floors or furniture. The only time drywood termites are readily visible is during their swarming periods, when they emerge from hiding. They may also be discovered during a home renovation or repair. By the time these termites have been detected, they may have already done considerable harm to the wooden components of your house.
The most effective way to eliminate drywood pests is to work with a professional to create a long term strategy to remove them from your home. Do-it-yourself treatments typically do not work for drywood species, because they burrow too deeply inside the wood to be affected by the pest control products that you can buy at supermarkets or home improvement outlets. For the fastest, most efficient service, contact a pest control professional that specializes in the eradication of drywood termites.
Detecting Drywood Termites
Drywood species are notoriously more difficult to find than other species of termites. These termites form very small colonies, which are scattered throughout dry areas of the wooden structures in your home. Because these pests mature very slowly, a homeowner may not be aware of an infestation for years after the first pests appear. You may see these insects for the first time when they swarm, or you may notice their droppings along your baseboards or at the bases of wooden furniture and decide to order a termite inspection.
Pest control professionals detect drywood termites by searching for structural damage, wings or droppings, and kickout holes. Kickout holes are tiny openings created by termites in wooden baseboards, beams or walls. These may be visible to a homeowner if you search carefully for these holes or droppings. If you clear the droppings and they reappear several days later, you’ll know that you have an active infestation on your hands.
In addition to a standard visual inspection, professional contractors may use acoustic emission devices, odor detectors or dogs that are trained to detect termites. However, an experienced professional who is familiar with the habits of drywood termites can generally find them through a careful visual inspection of your house. If you suspect that you might have termite damage to your dwelling, contact a trusted local pest control company as soon as possible to begin the process of eradicating the insects.
Drywood Termite Control
Professional pest controllers may use one or more approaches to eliminate drywood termites and prevent future infestations. Whole structure treatments address any infestations throughout the building. Whole structure approaches include the use of fumigants, or chemicals that spread through the accessible and inaccessible areas of a dwelling in the form of a fog. A whole structure fumigation may require the use of a tarpaulin to cover the house while treatment is taking place.
Localized treatments include using liquid chemicals or chemical dusts to reach areas of the house where termites have been detected. While whole structure treatments may be almost 100 percent effective, local treatments are somewhat less effective. Non toxic methods such as heat treatment may be applied to the entire structure to eradicate drywood termites. Heat treatment is a highly effective non chemical alternative to fogs or powders.
For long term prevention of infestations, a professional pest controller may recommend using liquids or dusts, paint or screen barriers or woods that are resistant to termite damage. While chemical prevention may be the most effective method of preventing a new infestation, the residue from these toxins may be harmful. Many homeowners prefer to use non chemical approaches to termite control whenever possible; however, some of these alternatives, such as resistant woods, may be prohibitively expensive, and their effectiveness has not been confirmed.