Drywood termite swarming season is upon us. September and October are the months that this type of termite release winged reproductive from the colony to spread into new areas. People often ask me, “where do these termites come from?” The answer is from any type of dead or decaying lumber in the yard or even neighboring yards. This means wood fences, concrete divider boards, planter boxes, dead tree stumps, and firewood are all possible locations for drywood termite colonies.
If you are unfortunate enough to have two reproductive drywood termites land on your house and they can find a way in, they are going to mate and start a new colony right in your house. The way drywood termites get into a house is through cracks in stucco, attic and sub area vent screens, and gaps between trim boards or siding.
The best way to eliminate a drywood termite infestation is to fumigate the entire home using a gas called Vikane™. This requires you to move out of the home for 3 days and there is a fair amount of prep-work that must be done prior to leaving. But this is the only method of treatment that is guaranteed to eliminate 100% of all termites.
If you can’t or just don’t want to fumigate, Woodland-Davis Termite & Pest Control, Inc. offers an alternative called a local treatment. For this type of treatment we drill small holes into the affected part of the house and inject a chemical called Termidor™ into the wood in hopes of eliminating most of the termites in the area. The drawback to this type of treatment is that you can’t know if you got all the termites or if they exist in other parts of the home. If you think you have drywood termites, please give us a call to schedule an appointment for an inspection. Limited inspections for homes with a concrete slab are done at no charge. If you want a full inspection of the home and/or your home has a crawl space there will be a fee for that inspection. Once the inspection has been completed, a typed report will be provided to you along with a bid for one or both above-mentioned treatment methods. You can then decide if you would like to have the treatment.
Below is a photo of a live tree with a dead limb removed that has an active drywood termite infestation. Also pictured is a drywood reproductive or “swarmer” note the bright red head, dark body, and wings that are longer than the body.