Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, South Orange County, Long Beach Area

How You Can Prevent Drywood Termite Damage

Termites Are Attacking Homes And Many Owners Are Looking For Solutions

    Drywood termites are one of the major causes of structural damage to homes and businesses in Orange County. This article is for owners who want to know what to look for and those who want to learn how to protect what is probably their largest investment.

What is a drywood termite?

    Drywood termites belong to the family Kalotermitidae and while they are similar to subterranean termites, their ecology and behavior are distinctly different. The Western Drywood termite is the most common specie in Orange County. They are about ½ inch long, dark brown, with smoky black wings and have a reddish-brown head.

    Many owners confuse ants with termites. To avoid this confusion, take a close look at the insect with a magnifying glass. Drywood termites have two pairs of equal length wings which are almost twice as long as the body. Whereas, ants have wings which are not much longer than their body and one pair is obviously shorter than the other.

    Another way to distinguish an ant from a termite is to take a close look at their bodies. Termites appear to have only two body parts – a head and an abdomen. Ants, on the other hand, have three distinctive body parts (head, thorax and abdomen) and you’ll see an obvious pinched-waist between the abdomen and thorax.

Why do drywood termites swarm?

    Drywood termites swarm because it is part of their mating ritual. They usually swarm in Orange County during the months of September and October.

    Swarming is triggered by bright sunlight and temperatures of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is quite common to see swarms of these pests flying in and around homes this time of the year because they are looking for new locations to start their colonies.

If you see a swarm of termites at your home, does it mean you have a problem?

    Drywood termites are flying everywhere during this season and many owners will see them on the outside of their home or floating in a swimming pool. Termites will also occasionally fly through open doors and windows. The sighting of termites in these instances does not necessarily indicate that you have an infestation.

What happens to these swarming termites?

    Fortunately, drywood termites are extremely poor fliers and most of them will start settling down after they fly for just a few feet. A majority of these termites will fall prey to birds, reptiles or other insects. Many of the others will die of dehydration or injury.

    After the swarmers land, they shed their wings, begin the mating process and start looking for a piece of wood to enter. Cracks, knot holes or joints between pieces of wood are the easiest access points.

    The king and queen will remain in their small nest and build up the colony. Drywood termite colonies are usually small but when you combine multiple colonies in a single piece of wood, you may have over 10,000 members. When there are that many termites eating 24 hours a day for 365 days a year, you’re going to start seeing a substantial amount of damage.

What are the signs of a drywood termite infestation?

    If you see large numbers of drywood termite swarmers inside of a home, attic, garage or subarea, an infestation is likely to be located somewhere within the structure.

    Termite fecal droppings are a strong indicator of an infestation. Drywood termite droppings are oval shaped, have six sides and are about the size of a grain of sand. From time to time, these termites are known to clean out the galleries where they work and their droppings will fall directly below the kick-out hole.

    Termite damaged wood can also be a strong sign of a problem. You may not always see live termites in these areas because in many cases, they have moved on to other locations to eat or for protection.

How can you get rid of drywood termites?

    When you see evidence of drywood termites, the first thing you should do is order a thorough inspection of the structure.

    If the area of infestation can be located and it is fully accessible, a localized/spot treatment of the area may be all you need to have done. This is performed by drilling small holes in the infested wood members and injecting a termiticide into the termite galleries.

    If the infestation extends into areas that cannot be seen or accessed, an all encompassing type of treatment, such as fumigation, will probably be needed.

What should you do if one company says you need a spot treatment and another calls for a fumigation?

    This is a common problem that many owners face. The answer is easy; if the area cannot be fully inspected and is not fully accessible for treatment, a fumigation is probably needed.

    Now, it may be possible for you to remove the wall coverings, flooring or the roof to make these areas accessible for inspection and treatment. However, that can be very expensive and impractical. Also, you may find that the infestation extends even further into other areas of the structure.

    The reason why fumigations were invented was so that homeowners would not have to literally destroy their homes in order to eliminate these pests.

What should I know before I hire a fumigator?

    Not all fumigations are created equal and if you are going to do it, it must be done properly.

    The first thing you need to ask any fumigator is, “How much gas are you going to use?”

    There are a number of factors which must be calculated before a structure is fumigated and one of the most important factors is the size of your home. Always insist on an accurate measurement and you should carefully review the fumigator’s math. The size of your home greatly determines the amount of gas needed. Please note that if enough gas is not applied, your fumigation will fail and you will have wasted all your money.

    You should also inspect the quality of the fumigator’s equipment, especially the condition of his fumigation tarps. If these are old, ragged and torn, you know for a fact that his fumigation will fail.

What about guarantees?

    This is a very important question that needs to be asked. Most termite companies in our area will guarantee their fumigations for a period of two years. They will tell you that if your fumigation fails within a set time period, their company will re-tent your home at no charge. However, you’ll find that almost no one will cover the cost of your time to re-bag all of your food, the cost of staying at a hotel and/or compensate you for the inconvenience.

What makes Termite Terry Pest Control different from all the rest?

    The answer is simple; At Termite Terry Pest Control, we’ll get rid of all your termites or your treatment is FREE!

    That’s right! If you find a live colony of drywood termites any where in the structure fumigated, we will re-fumigate your home at no charge and we will refund all your money. There is no risk to you and the worst thing that could happen to you is that you get a free fumigation. Why would anyone take a chance on working with someone who might do a good job?

    Do you have a termite problem and need help? Call us at (949) 631-7348 and we’ll be happy to schedule an inspection at your convenience.