At Impact Pest Elimination, we mostly treat our area for subterranean termites, but we see our fair share of drywood termites as well. Let us tell you about the signs of a subterranean and drywood termite invasion, as this can help you decide whether or not you should call us for treatment.
These termites annually cost homeowners in America more than $5 billion in structural damage. They nest underground where it's moist and can forage for hundreds of feet in search of cellulose to eat; that includes wood, paper, and cardboard. They prefer their food to be moist as well. Since they tend to be secretive, you might not be able to spot these termites, but you can be alerted to their presence in three ways.
Since they can't live without moisture, subterranean termites build what are called mud tubes in order to reach above-ground structures. These brown tubes have the width of a pencil and are made from their saliva and excrement. Finding these is the first sign of an invasion.
When subterranean termites want to swarm, and migrate across your property, they'll develop winged termites; after settling down, they'll naturally shed their wings. Finding their wings on the floor is the second sign of an invasion.
The third sign is more obvious: damaged wood. Subterranean termites eat the soft, light-colored parts of wood and always tunnel with the grain. Any wood structure that makes a hollow sound when tapped should give one pause. In addition, signs of water damage, such as buckled floors and bubbling paint, may point to these termites (they emit moisture as they feed).
Drywood termites do not live in the ground and do not require moisture in order to survive. Once they infiltrate your home or business, they'll seek dry, undecayed wood both to nest in and to feed on. This can include furniture, picture frames, the eaves, and siding. Compared to subterranean termites, drywood termites keep smaller colonies and don't spread so quickly and aggressively.
They eat both along and against the grain, having no preference between soft and hard spots in wood. From their nests, they'll kick out their droppings, which are called frass. From far away, these light and dark brown pellets look like sawdust, but they're the number-one sign of a drywood termite presence.
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You don't want to wait until you hear a rustling behind your walls to get termite control. Impact Pest Elimination has been serving the Tampa Bay area since 1985, and we've been constantly updating our elimination techniques. Give us a call for a professional inspection.