Have you just seen a drywood termite and are wondering where do drywood termites come from?
If you know where they come from can you prevent them from entering your home?
Where Do Drywood Termites Come From?
A drywood termite come from environments where there is ideally a large amount of dry wood available for them to get at.
Drywood termites are commonly found in the U.S., particularly in the south and, as their name suggests, they prefer dry rather than damp wood.
Read on to learn more about drywood termites, where they come from, and how to rid your home of this common and destructive household pest.
What are Drywood Termites?
Drywood termites are one of the three main kinds of termites found in the United States. These main species are:
- Drywood termites – found throughout the south in the United States. These termites prefer to infest dry wood instead of damp wood, hence their common name. Drywood termites don’t need contact with the soil to survive and can live their entire lives and build enormous colonies solely inside wood.
- Dampwood termites – very similar to drywood termites, with the only significant difference being that dampwood termites, as their name suggests, prefer damp over dry wood.
- Subterranean termites – Another species with a rather telling common name, subterranean termites live in the dirt under houses and usually infest wood that is in contact with the ground, such as the wood surrounding house foundations and fence posts.
Because drywood termites thrive and build their colonies inside the lumber these pests use as their food source, it can be difficult to identify an infestation until severe damage has been done.
Do Drywood Termites Go Away on Their Own?
Once drywood termites (or any termites, for that matter) infest your home, you will need to take action to eradicate them. They won’t go away on their own.
They can also live their whole lives and build their colonies within the wood that they use as a food source and don’t require contact with soil to survive, making them a particularly difficult pest to eradicate.
How Do You Prevent Drywood Termites?
The following suggestions, including routine home maintenance, help prevent termites:
- To avoid water buildup, keep gutters and drains clean.
- Don’t stack firewood against the house.
- Remove dead tree debris and stumps from your yard, and regularly trim your shrubs and hedges.
- Make sure to cover openings to the house. Use termite-resistant mesh to cover pipes, drains, and vents.
Why Do Termites Come Out Of Nowhere?
While it may seem this way, since termites can go undetected for long periods of time, termites don’t come out of nowhere. Signs of a termite infestation include warped or crumbling wood and wood that sounds hollow.
Drywood termites are particularly attracted to antique furniture, as the pests can go undetected for long periods of time. This is because damage usually isn’t noticed until the thick veneer coating on the wood becomes cracked.
What Is The Best Way To Eradicate Drywood Termites?
- Treat wood directly with insecticide – this method works well with both dampwood and drywood termite infestations
- Insecticide (foam form) – inject it into openings and cracks, such as those around windows and doors. This method is particularly helpful with drywood termites, which build their colonies inside the wood.
- Using dust agents – (also known as the drill and treat method), is helpful to get rid of drywood termite infestations. To use, drill a hole into the infected wood, then insert the dust agent into the core of the wood.
- Fumigation – kills termites by pumping building with poison gas. Keep in mind that fumigation is a last resort, due to how dangerous and destructive it can be. Make sure to remove everyone – including pets – from the infested property before fumigation and arrange for an alternate temporary living space, as it can take a while for the home to become safe again after the poison gas dissipates.
Natural methods of getting rid of termites include:
- Nematodes – these are small worms that prey on termites. Release them into the infested area.
- Vinegar and lemon juice – the acid kills the pests on contact, apply regularly to keep them away
- Borax powder – sprinkle liberally in infested area, apply regularly
- Orange oil – like lemon juice, this oil contains a compound that is lethal to termites
- Wet cardboard – soak a sheet of cardboard and leave it out as bait. The termites will be attracted to it. Douse with vinegar and lemon juice before disposing of the termite-covered cardboard.