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Q:  How much damage do Drywood Termites really do?

A:  Termites cause more fiscal damage than all natural disasters combined. Drywood Termites are found throughout the state of Florida, especially near coastlines.  Drywood Termites, as the name implies look for dry wood to live in and feed upon.  Although Florida receives a fair share of rain, especially during the summer months, this does not deter the Drywood Termite from making himself at home in the confines of your house. The Drywood termite spends its entire life cycle typically in one area. Once a Drywood Termite finds “dry wood” they create a colony and feed upon the wood in your house.  “Swarms” of Drywood termites only occur if a young adult leaves the confines of the current Drywood home to begin a new colony.

How do you know if you have an infestation of Drywood Termites?  Termites leave signs that they have created a colony in your home.  The young termites that fly out to build new colonies shed their wings once they have located a Drywood area in which to colonize.  In addition to the visible sign lost wings, homeowners will also see pellets that are unusual looking as they are six-sided and are known as “frass” and the termites remove these pellets through small “kick-out holes” and are described as mounds that look like coffee grounds or sawdust.Drywood Pellets 032308 015r

Drywood termites are drawn to non-decayed or “sound” wood in older homes.  Wood flooring, wood frames, base boards, window sills, furniture and doors are all potential homes for the Drywood Termite. These insects have evolved to become one of the hardiest of the termite species as they can survive in extreme temperatures and environmental extremes. By adapting to such adverse conditions they are widespread and create havoc on homes.

Prevention is always the best policy when dealing with termites.  Homeowners want to avoid the initial establishment of a Drywood colony if at all possible. The best way to protect your home and prevent an infestation is to seal any points of potential entry: cracks, joins, and vents.  Making sure the wood structures in your home are undesirable to termites is another preventative treatment.  Using borates and silica gels to form a coating on wood is an effective prevention measure.

What happens if Drywood Termites make a home in your home?  Only a professional termite inspector, such as inspectors trained and certified at Arrow Environmental Services can perform a free termite inspection to determine if your home has been invaded by Drywood Termites.  Treatment and cost is dependent upon the amount of damage the termites have caused.  If caught early, damage can be minimized. Arrow technicians are trained on not only determining the amount of damage but in determining the best course of action when treating Drywood termites  The fumigation process will treat the whole house; however it is a very specialized process that only an expert can perform.  At Arrow our technicians are expertly trained to handle the treatment of both small, local infestations to larger infestations requiring full fumigation.  Cost will vary, but the best and least expensive method of treating Drywood termites is using preventative measures before an infestation can occur.

*Information for this article was gathered from the University of Florida’s website.

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