What are drywood termites?
Drywood termites are a species of termite that prefer living in hard, dry wood. Anything from the structural beams of your home to the picture frames that speckle your walls are threatened by these pests. Once these pests are in your home, the damage can be extreme. Luckily, we have outlined some of the most important things you need to know as a property owner about keeping your home safe from these horrible homewreckers.
The life cycle of drywood termites is actually pretty fascinating, despite their destructive disposition. The beginning of their lives is pretty standard: they are hatched from eggs in large waves and immediately take their position in the swarm. Like most other species of termites, drywood termites live in large groups with a caste system. In this instance, their caste system consists of three jobs: the workers, the soldiers, and the reproducers. Almost the entirety of the colony is classified as workers.
The workers are wingless and the smallest within the colony. Their job is to gather food, increase the nest, and take care of the younger termites in the swarm. Worker termites are the most efficient in causing damage to your property. On average, drywood termites cause up to five billion dollars in damage yearly in the United States. You could prevent your pockets from hurting by simply becoming educated on drywood termites and their habits.
Where might you find drywood termites on your property?
As deduced by their name, drywood termites typically prefer dry, hard, or dead wood to build their nests in. However, this does not mean that they won’t build anywhere else; they’ll build in wet conditions if necessary. The most common places to find drywood termites are under roof shingles and within the siding of your house. The easiest way for termites to get into your home is by penetrating the outside first. These pests will gnaw at any free inch of wood they can find, no matter the disastrous implications.
Beneath Roof Shingles
Ceilings and attics are a very common place for drywood termites to build their nest. This is mainly due to the ease in which they can invade. One loose roof shingle can let in insurmountable amounts of trouble. The main reason termites prefer wood as their food of choice is because of the cellulose within the lumber. Because attics and roofing structures are mostly wood, your attic could soon become their buffet.
Similar to attics and ceilings, siding is a great way for drywood termites to find their way in. Even the tiniest crack in your siding can let a swarm of unwanted pests into your home. Within older homes, siding is made of wood, which acts as a magnet for these creepy crawlers. However, newer homes are being built with vinyl siding, which is almost impossible for termites to chomp through. Overall, you should still be on high alert no matter how old your home is because the moment you glance away, termites could invade.
How do you know if you have a drywood termite infestation?
Termites are practically invisible. You will most likely never see them with your own eyes unless you happen to stumble upon their nest. They do their damage incognito, which can make it incredibly easy for you to never know they are there. However, there are a few easy ways for you to determine if you have a drywood termite problem.
The first way that you can determine if you might have a problem is through the droppings the termites leave behind. This is one of the more common ways people discover they have termites because it is about the only thing they leave in their wake. Their droppings are normally brown or beige and are left in large mounds around the home. In all honesty, their droppings look like a mound of ground pepper which makes it easily identifiable. Luckily for you, these droppings are not toxic. However, we still recommend you use proper safety precautions. If you see this substance in your home, you need to act fast to find the source.
One of the more difficult ways you could discover you have termites is by noticing the light-clicking sound that they make. This sound can be almost impossible to hear unless your property is completely silent. However, once you hear it, you will wonder how you never noticed it before. This clicking sound is merely them performing their everyday activities, but it can be really helpful in identifying the problem.
Finally, if you are lucky enough, you might just discover one of their lifeless bodies around your home. Finding a termite in plain sight is almost impossible, though not entirely unfathomable. Drywood termites look similar to ants, but their one defining feature is their color. If you happen to stumble upon what looks like a white ant, then you are most likely looking at a termite.
As soon as you discover you have an infestation, it is of the utmost importance that you act swiftly. Mere hours could save your home as well as your pocketbook.
How can you prevent drywood termites from taking over?
Termites are attracted to wood. Wood piles near your home will act as a magnet for them. We suggest keeping any excess firewood or lumber at least 20 feet from your home. We also recommend ensuring that your property is completely sealed. A small crack in your window frame could let in an entire swarm of termites, and you’d never know they’re there. Walk your property line regularly and ensure that you have no vulnerabilities to the exterior of your home. Finally, the most cost-effective way of keeping termites from your home is to update your home structure. Replacing your roof or siding can be expensive, but, in the long run, you could be saving yourself money. By switching to vinyl siding and replacing your roof shingles, you could save thousands.
If you are struggling with drywood termites, set up your free inspection immediately. We want to help you keep your home safe from these pesky little bugs.