In the last 5 years or so, there’s been a 30% increase in Formosan and Asian termites in Southeast Florida. While your home may be in Pinellas, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re safe from these invasive pests.
No doubt that your home is already vulnerable to the normal species of termites; it’s only a matter of time before the Asian varieties may their way to your area. And when they do, you want to be prepared.
The best thing to do is to be proactive about drywood termites. To do that, you’ll need to know the telltale signs of an infestation. Read on to find out what they are.
What Is the Drywood Termite?
First off, a little bit about the drywood termite.
These are small insects that are light brown in color and have narrow bodies that are shaped like ovals. As their name suggests, they like to feast upon dry, unrotting wood.
This makes them different from the Formosan and Asian termites, as those are subterranean termites. These nest in the soil and eat the wood that’s in direct contact with it.
Like most other insects, drywood termites live in colonies. Their numbers can get upwards of 2,700 in a span of 15 years, all without you even suspecting a thing.
Because of how much drywood termites can stealthily do damage, it’s vital you recognize the signs of an infestation so professionals can take immediate and effective action. Read on to find out what these are.
Presence of Fecal Pellets
Subterranean termites will nest in soil, so it may be harder to detect them. But because drywood termites don’t live in soil, it’ll be easier to notice that things are amiss.
For instance, you’ll find fecal pellets, also known as frass. It’ll look like piles of sawdust and if you look closely at them, they’ll be little hexagons about 1 millimeter long. You’ll most likely find them along the walls and windowsills of your house.
An infestation will be very obvious if you clean your house regularly and find these little piles often. This is because after they’ve made their eliminations, they’ll push the fecal pellets out of their tunnels inside the wood of your home.
You’ll See Swarms
Whenever the weather is optimal for migration and spreading, drywood termites will take advantage of it. Typically, you’ll see swarms of them when it’s warm and rainy, such as in the fall.
When they migrate, you’ll see huge numbers of drywood termites fly to nearby buildings so they can set up new colonies. So you may see them either coming to your property or leaving it.
Sometimes, these swarms may be mistaken for swarming ants. However, upon a closer look, you should be able to tell straight away which insect it is, based on a visual inspection.
Presence of Shed Wings
After drywood termites migrate, they’ll shed their wings and mate to create colonies. Because of this, you’ll find shed wings but no organisms.
It may be entirely possible that there’s not an active infestation if you find shed wings, but if you find them in combination with frass (especially if you clean the house thoroughly and keep finding frass), then it’s almost certain you have an active infestation on your hands.
Your Walls Sounds Hollow
Of course, your walls shouldn’t be completely solid, but if you have an active infestation, they might sound more hollow than it usually does.
If you find frass and/or shed wings, try tapping the wall around that area. Any hollow-sounding spots may indicate where the termites have already cleared out the wood.
There’s Wood Damage
Usually, if you notice wood damage, then that means there’s significantly more on the interior of your house. At this point, you may have serious damage. But it’s better late than never to take care of a drywood termite infestation.
You’ll know the wood damage is from the termites eating it, since this type of termite eat against the grain. If there are smooth galleries in your wood, then it’s a sign of them chomping down on your home’s wood.
How Drywood Termites Get Into Your House
As we’ve said above, drywood termites can get into your house through a swarm. But did you know you can bring them into your home through infested furniture and other wooden objects?
So be careful if you’re purchasing wooden furniture, whether it’s new or used. You can take a preemptive step by spraying Timbor or Boracare onto the wood to kill any active beetles.
Where to Look for Drywood Termites
So you’re familiar with the signs of drywood termites now. But where exactly should you be looking for them?
One of the first places you should look is your attic space. Otherwise, you’ll find them along the exterior. Sometimes, they’ll gather on cellulose material, such as insulation.
Whatever you do, make sure to inspect every inch of your house. The earlier you detect a possible infestation, the less work professional exterminators will have to do.
Get Rid of Drywood Termites in Your Pinellas Home
Now that you know all the signs of drywood termites in homes and where to find them, you’ll have the knowledge to spot any issues early on. Having this ability can make all the difference in how much damage your house suffers, so make sure you stay vigilant about it.
At the first sign of trouble, make sure you get in touch with a reputable exterminator like Brantley Termite & Pest Control. Our team can promptly come to your property, thoroughly examine it, and prescribe the best course of action for your personal situation.
Are you worried that you may have termites in your home? Then schedule an appointment with a reliable exterminator straight away. We’ll give you a free estimate too!