Drywood termites are easy to mistake for flying carpenter ants because both insects live in wood and look similar from a distance. Termites, however, do a lot more damage. Realizing you have termites is never fun, but once you spot them, you can take steps to eradicate them before they cause any more destruction.
Recognizing Drywood Termites
Drywood termites are one of two termite species. They are also one of three main termite groups, the others being subterranean and dampwood. While carpenter ants thrive all over the country, drywood termites are most commonly found in the Southwest.
Their thick red bodies and straight antennae are their most noticeable identifying features. Ants, on the other hand, have black bodies with narrow waists and bent antennae.
Drywood termites take their name from their ability to live in dry wood. They extract moisture from the air and the wood they eat. As they eat, they make irregular tunnels in the wood as well as holes to push out debris, known as frass, leaving tiny piles of debris around the wood.
Often, the first time you see a termite is the first time you realize you have an infestation. You might notice a faint ticking or clicking noise inside the infested wood or find that the wood sounds hollow or papery when you tap on it. Ignore these signs and the wood will soon fall apart completely.
Getting Rid of an Infestation
If you’ve spotted termites in your home, have the professionals at Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination assess the extent of the infestation and damage, and advise you on the best next step. If you try to treat the infestation yourself and miss part of the colony, the bugs could do severe damage to your home before you realize they’re still around.
A professional can plan the most effective course of treatment for the infestation type and carry it out with minimal disruption to your household. This involves identifying infested areas and accounting for structural features in your home that might need special attention. They also need to choose the right termiticide product.
Foam treatments – Dry foam products are often used for moderate infestations of drywood termites. After cleaning the infested area of debris such as termite frass, the exterminator drills holes into the infested wood. They’ll then pump the foam treatment into the drill holes to reach the termites. The foam dries and leaves behind the treatment.
Liquid treatments – For subterranean termites, the termite professional will apply a liquid treatment around your home’s foundation. This means that your termite control expert may dig a trench directly along the foundation of the infested structure and apply termiticide into the trench. They may also drill into the concrete foundation and abutting concrete of your home to treat. The termites then carry the treatment back to the rest of the colony, eventually killing off the colony.
Fumigation – Generally reserved for extensive drywood termite infestations, this method requires completely covering your house with a fumigation tent and pumping in a fumigant, or insecticidal gas. The gas seeps into every part of the house, killing the termites wherever they might be. It’s a major undertaking, but almost always effective.
If you notice termites or would like to schedule an inspection, contact Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination right away.