Get ready. The season for drywood termites in Tampa Bay is in May and June. They are already planning their trip here. If you haven’t heard of them, here is some information all about them.
Why are they called Drywood?
This breed of termites is called drywood because they don’t require aboveground moisture sources or soil contact to survive. They live in and feed on dead trees, furniture, wooden floors and beams. They produce smaller colonies than other termite species.
Drywood termite damage is substantial and they are primarily found in coastal, southern states and the Southwestern states. Drywood termites typically infest older homes in their sound or non-decayed wood. They can be found in a home in wood flooring, attics, wood frames, fascia boards, window sills, doors, and furniture. Drywood termites survive best at 60°F but have been reported in temperatures of 110°F.
Retain Body Moisture
Winged termites (swarmers or alates) will enter cracks and openings in wood to start new colonies. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites cannot retreat to the soil when conditions are unfavorable. They have adapted very well to dry environments by having a more impermeable cuticle to retain body moisture. Also, they are more efficient at resorbing water from their excrement, or feces—a process that causes its characteristic pellet shape.
Not only do drywood termites cause severe harm to homes, solider termites have the ability to bite humans, but would only do so if handled. Essentially, termites definitely bite wood and do attack other insects, but typically they do not bite people.
Drywood termites live within the wood they consume and can infest walls and furniture. Swarming termites can be seen around windows and doors. Winged termites are highly attracted to sources of light and are most active in springtime.
Signs of Infestation
The University of Florida IFAS Extension produced a fact sheet about Pests in and around the Florida Home and states that “a good way to know if there is a drywood termite infestation is from their six-sided fecal pellets, known as frass. These fecal pellets are removed from drywood termite nests through small “kick-out holes,” which are about 1 to 2 mm in diameter. These are normally found in mounds and have been described to look like sawdust or coffee grounds. These are usually light tan to almost black but have no relation to the color of the wood the termites are feeding on. If rolled between your fingers, you will notice a gritty texture of the pellets, this is a way many pest control operators identify drywood termite feces. If fecal pellets are difficult to identify, surface blistering or warping is a good sign of an advanced infestation. Blistering occurs many times because of the termites tunneling right under the outer surface of the wood, which gives a blistered appearance. When this is visible, it is necessary to open the wood to be sure it is a drywood termite infestation you are dealing with. Tapping the wood with the end of a screw driver or similar tool and listening for a hollow, papery, rustling sound can be used to detect an infestation. Because drywood termite colonies are smaller than subterranean termites, they are usually found in localized areas and not as spread out. Multiple colonies may be found infesting a single structure, so it is important to check the entire structure even after one colony has been detected”.
We recommend regular inspection by a pest-control professional since some of these signs are difficult to detect.
Drive-Bye Exterminators offers home and commercial pest control services in Clearwater, Florida, and the surrounding areas. Family owned and operated for over 25 years, Drive-Bye Exterminators has state certified inspectors and exterminators provide roach, subterranean termite, dry wood termite, roaches, spider, ant and flea services to both commercial and residential clients. Whether a business owner needs help getting rid of a termite infestation, or a homeowner wants to rid their kitchen of ants, Drive-Bye Exterminators offers each client the same level of professionalism and excellence.
Request a FREE Pest Control or Termite Inspection today with the Professionals of Drive-Bye Exterminators. Contact Us Today at 727-423-9040.