Drywood Termites (Incisitermes snyderi or Cryptotermes brevis or Incisitermes minor), are a type of termite that are known for infesting and damaging dry, sound wood in homes and other structures. They are not as common as subterranean termites, which typically live in underground colonies and feed on the wood in homes from the ground up. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites do not require contact with the soil and can live entirely within the wood of a structure.
Drywood termites are typically found in warmer climates, such as coastal regions, and they are a significant problem in states like California, Florida, and along the Gulf Coast, including Houston, Texas. They are attracted to warm and dry wood, and they can often be found in attic spaces and in the wood framing of homes.
Drywood termites colonies are typically smaller than subterranean termite colonies, with a few hundred to a few thousand members. They are usually found in dry, sound wood, and they do not need to be connected to the soil. They can be found in attics, furniture, window frames and door frames and they can cause significant structural damage to a home if left untreated.
One of the main signs of a drywood termite infestation is the presence of small, rectangular holes in the wood, which are used by the termites to excrete their feces. These holes, known as “kickout holes,” are a telltale sign of drywood termites. Another sign is the presence of small, six-legged insects (termites) or swarms of winged reproductives which are called swarmers, inside or around the structure.
Drywood termites can be difficult to control, as they live entirely within the wood of a structure and do not need to be connected to the soil. Traditional pest control methods, such as the use of pesticides and bait systems, are not as effective against drywood termites as they are against subterranean termites. The most common methods for controlling drywood termites include:
Fumigation: this method involves sealing off the entire structure, and then pumping in a gas to kill the termites. This is one of the most effective methods for controlling drywood termites, but it can be costly and disruptive.
Localized treatment: This method involves drilling small holes in the infested wood and injecting a liquid pesticide directly into the galleries, where the termites are feeding. This method can be effective, but it may not completely eliminate the infestation.
Wood replacement: This method involves removing and replacing the infested wood, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Prevention is key when it comes to drywood termites. Homeowners can take steps to reduce the risk of infestation by keeping wood piles away from the house, sealing cracks and crevices in the foundation, and ensuring proper ventilation in the attic and crawl spaces. Regular inspections by a professional pest control company can also help detect infestations early, before they cause significant damage.
In conclusion, Drywood termites are a serious pest problem that can cause significant damage to homes and other structures. They are attracted to warm and dry wood and can infest homes in warmer climates. They do not require contact with the soil, and their colonies are typically smaller than subterranean termite colonies, with a few hundred to a few thousand members. The most common methods for controlling drywood termites include fumigation, localized treatment and wood replacement. Prevention is key, regular inspections by a professional pest control company can help detect infestations early before they cause significant damage.