How To Identify & Get Rid Of Drywood Termites On Your Tampa Property

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Termites are an ever-present threat in Tampa. There are three types of termites: Subterranean, drywood, and dampwood. We're going to be taking a look at drywood termites today. We will be discussing how you can find signs of termites in your home, how drywood termites in Tampa cause damage to wood, how to prevent drywood termite problems, and what is definitely the best way to get rid of termites.

How To Identify Signs Of Drywood Termites

When drywood termites get into your Tampa home, you may see signs. Here are six important signs to watch for:

  1. Swarmers — In the spring, when temperatures warm, drywood termite colonies send swarmers out to create new nests. These winged reproductives are the only termites in a colony that are attracted to light, and the only termites you're likely to see (unless you find a hole). Swarmers are an orange-brown color and have long wings that are rounded at the tips. It is common to see these insects swarming by the hundreds. You may also find them emerging inside your home. If you have interior swarmers, you're not going to wonder if you have an infestation.  
  2. Wings — Swarmers shed their wings after they mate. These wings may be the only warning sign you get. Swarms last for less than thirty minutes, and shortly after, the queens and kings disappear into cracks and gaps to create new nests. 
  3. Frass — Long before you see swarmers, you're likely to see frass. It can take several years for a nest to produce swarmers. Frass is the droppings of termites. It is the same color as the wood the termites are eating, and it can be found on floors beneath kickout holes. Some describe it as looking like brown pepper.
  4. Kickout holes — These are tiny holes created by worker termites to push their frass out. They're not much to look at but when you find one, you might get a glimpse of termites inside. There may be tiny antennae poking out or the black mandibles of a soldier termite guarding the entrance.
  5. Damage — Drywood termites can cause damage that is visible. If you see changes to the wood of your home, it is a good idea to contact a licensed professional to do a professional inspection to look for other signs of termites in your home.
  6. Clicking Noises — Sometimes, it is possible to hear drywood termites. This clicking noise is caused by soldier termites. They hit their heads on tunnel walls as a warning that there is a threat, such as invading ants.

How Drywood Termites Damage The Wood Of Your Home

It is important to understand the process drywood termites use to damage the wood in your home. If you have active termites, this is likely the process they used (and are currently using) to damage wood timbers.

  • Workers are the only termites that eat wood. Winged termites that approach the outside of your home will need an entry point to get inside.
  • Once inside, a termite problem will begin with the establishment of a nest.
  • Workers will be created, and they will diligently feed on the inside of wood timbers to gather food for the colony. You can have thousands of active termites in your home and not see a single termite.
  • After more than a year, the queen of the nest will produce male and female winged alates (swarmers). These alates leave the nest, swarm together, mate with each other, shed their wings, and find gaps to enter. This can happen outside or inside your home.
  • The swarmers that survive the process will create new nests in the structure. While this will only be a few, it will significantly increase the termite infestation.

Environmentally Friendly Drywood Termite-Prevention Tips

There are several ways you can guard your property from drywood termite damage.

  • Watch for the signs. If you see any of the signs listed above, take action. Termite inspections and termite treatments performed by licensed pest-management professionals are your best protection from termite damage.  
  • The most important thing you can do to prevent a termite problem is to seal gaps, cracks, and holes in your exterior. This prevents drywood termites from getting into your home in the first place. A little elbow grease will go a long way toward guarding your property from damage.
  • Keep scrap wood and other wood sources well away from your exterior walls.
  • Address moisture issues around your exterior. Drywood termites are attracted to moisture-damaged wood.

The Best Termite Control Solution For Your Tampa Property

When you need termite inspections, termite treatments, or just some solid advice about Tampa termites, turn to Haskell Termite & Pest Control. We specialize in termite control and prevention. This is the best way to get rid of termites or prevent termite infestations in your Tampa home. Reach out to us at Haskell Termite & Pest Control today. We look forward to helping you find the right solution to protect your property.