If you think your house may have a wood termite problem, you might be in for a surprise. These critters are often difficult to identify. This article will cover Drywood termites, Subterranean termites, Formosan termites, and some of the treatment options. Hopefully, it will help you determine whether you have a wood termite problem and what to do next.
Drywood termites infest wood structures and are often found in attics, wood frames, window sills, doors, and furniture. The drywood termite’s presence is not always visible, but winged termites often enter cracks in wood to start new colonies. Drywood termites are difficult to treat, and their removal can be costly.
Detecting the presence of drywood termites requires careful inspection of the structure. If the wood structure is infested, look for signs of their presence, such as fecal pellets or holes. Drywood termites will use temporary openings, or “kick-outs” to push fecal material out. The fecal pellets are small, approximately 1/16-inch long, and are often black or cream-colored. These pellets are difficult to see without a magnifying glass.
Drywood termites are not harmful to humans, but they can be disruptive to the structural integrity of a building. They prefer to feed on furniture, house frames, and wood flooring. They will also infest wood-based items and cause damage.
Subterranean wood termites are small insects that live in colonies underground. They feed on cellulose material and wood. They reproduce by laying eggs and multiplying in colonies. Each colony contains one primary queen. Supplementary reproductives are also found in established colonies. Each colony can be up to 75 members in size.
Subterranean wood termites are easily distinguishable by their light brown excrement and hollow cavities. Unlike dry wood termites, subterranean wood termites feed along the grain of the wood, eating softer springwood while leaving harder summerwood untouched. This distinguishing characteristic allows pest control professionals to detect subterranean wood termites and eliminate them.
Subterranean termites can cause significant damage to structures and are common in California. They can infest dead trees, stumps, and structural lumber in buildings. In California, the most common subterranean termite species are Reticulitermes, Heterotermes, and Coptotermes. Other subterranean termite species are found in arid areas in the south and southeast of the state and are not as important pests.
Formosan termite species
The Formosan termite species is a wood-destroying insect that inhabits wood structures. It is known to enter structures from the ground, and their preferred entry points are expansion joings, cracks, utility conduits, and rotting wood. As their name suggests, they can also form aerial colonies, so they often favor flat-roofed high-rise buildings. Formosans do not attack pressure-treated wood. However, they can bypass treated wood to gain access to a building’s structure.
Formosan termites are similar to eastern subterranean termites in their habits. They live in huge underground colonies, with an average of 350,000 termites, and enter a structure through mud tubes, which run from the soil to wood. If moisture is available, Formosan termites may also establish secondary carton nests above ground. These nests consist of soil and wood cemented together and contain termite feces. They are more common than eastern subterranean termite species, and can account for up to 25% of structural infestations in Florida and 50% in high-rise buildings in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Formosan termite colonies consist of three main castes: workers, soldiers, and reproductives. The workers make up the majority of the colony, while the soldiers make up the remainder of the population. The workers are the most common type of Formosan termite, making up nine times more than the soldiers.
Termites can damage wood in various ways, but one common and effective way to rid your property of these pesky creatures is through spot treatments. By using a spray bottle, you can apply liquid termiticide to infected wood. In addition, you can apply essential oils to the wood to prevent termites from laying eggs and shedding skin.
Fumigation is another effective method. This treatment involves injecting a gas into the wood to control the termite colonies. The gas will destroy termite colonies and prevent further infestations. You can also apply a fumigation solution directly to the affected area. Either way, you should take the necessary precautions to protect your property.
Another method is soil application. However, it is not effective for hard-to-reach areas. It also has a tendency to leave holes and loopholes. In addition, soil application does not affect the termite colony itself – it only affects them when they are in direct contact with the soil.