The words “termite infestation” strike fear in the heart of every homeowner and with good reason. No matter what type of termites you have, they can do major structural damage to your home within just a few months. Identifying the type, however, makes it easier to plan an attack.
As their name implies, these termites nest entirely inside dry wood. Unlike other types of termites, they don’t need contact with damp wood or the ground to survive. That means they can land on nearly any wood in your home and commence their attack.
Because they rely on the humidity in the air, you will typically find them in warm, humid coastal areas. Their need for such specific conditions means they’re less common than subterranean termites. However, you will often find them in Arizona too.
Drywood termites aren’t picky about what they eat and will chew their way along in a maze-like pattern of tunnels, called galleries, either against or with the wood grain. They create holes to get rid of their waste, called frass, which builds up in tiny piles of sandy material around the wood.
Drywood and subterranean termites look similar. If the dropped wings you find have multiple veins along the top edge, you’ve probably got drywood termites.
These termites spend part of their lives in the ground, building mud tunnels from which to attack the wood in your home. The tunnels also provide necessary moisture. This tunneling habit lets them thrive in somewhat drier climates, although infestations are heaviest around warm coasts. As a result, they’re the most common type of termite found in Arizona.
Subterranean termites prefer to eat the soft wood between the wood grains, so their damage follows the grain precisely. They mix their waste with soil and saliva, then use it to line their tunnels. The result is a “carton” nest, named for its cardboard-like texture. You might find these nests around the foundation of an infested building.
If you find a termite wing with a single vein running along the top edge, chances are it’s from a subterranean termite.
Eliminating an Infestation
Whether you’ve got drywood or subterranean termites, your first step should be to call in a termite control professional to determine the degree of damage and advise you on what to do next. Never handle an infestation yourself, even if it’s minor. If your attempt fails you might not realize it until your house has sustained major damage.
Drywood termites are not the easiest to eliminate. If any part of your house is infested, contact a termite elimination professional immediately.
Getting rid of subterranean termites is trickier because it requires treating the underground nest as well as the wood. 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.
For an extensive infestation, leave the work to a professional who has the knowledge and professional-grade products to treat it effectively.
The termite battle isn’t a battle you’ll win on your own. Call Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination today to start your termite treatment.