Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

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

What To Know When Drywood Termites Swarm In Orange County

During the fall months, we always get a lot of calls from homeowners who have found drywood termites swarming inside and around the outside of their homes. Many of these homeowners want to know why this is happening, and they call us to get more information.

This month, we’d like to share some of the most commonly asked questions and provide you with the information you need.

When do drywood termites usually swarm?

Drywood termites swarm during the months of September and October. This is their mating season and scientists believe that swarming is triggered by bright sunlight and temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is quite common to see swarms of these pests flying in and around Orange County homes during this time of year, because they are looking for locations to start their new colonies.

If drywood termites are crawling on the outside ofmy home, does it mean that my home is infested?

No, finding drywood termites on the outside of your home does not necessarily mean that you have a termite problem. Drywood termite swarmers are very poor fliers and they usually follow the direction of the wind. If you see them on the outside of your home, they may have flown from something nearby, such as an old tree, a wooden fence, or a neighboring house. Of course, it is still possible that the termites could simply be moving from one portion of your home, and are looking to spread out into other areas of your home.

The best way to find out if your home really does have a drywood termite problem is to have your home inspected.

If drywood termites are flying around on the inside of your home, does that mean mean that you have a termite infestation?

Yes, this could be a very good indication that you have an infestation of drywood termites, located somewhere within the structure. However, you should always remember that it is possible for a few drywood termites to enter your home through open doors and windows. If you only find a couple of these termites in your home, it may be no big deal. But, if you see dozens or hundreds of them inside of your home, you should order a termite inspection right away.

If you find a lot of termite swarmers near a door or window, does that mean that the termites are coming from that area?

No, it doesn’t. Drywood termites are attracted to light and you always need to remember that they could be originating from an area that is located clear on the opposite side of your home. Unfortunately, it can be almost impossible to find where they are coming from. That is because the termites could be emerging from a pen-sized hole, or a very small crack in a wall. If you are lucky enough to see where they are crawling out of a hole or crack, you need to mark the area so your termite technician will know where to start inspecting. If the point of origin can’t be located, a whole-house fumigation is almost always your best choice.

What happens to these swarming termites?

Fortunately, drywood termite swarmers have a mortality rate of about 97 percent. Since they are such poor fliers, most of them will start settling down after they fly a few feet. A majority of them 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.

Localized treatments are 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 it is not fully accessible for treatment, a fumigation is probably needed.

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 to determine how much gas is needed. 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 their fumigation tarps. If they are old, torn and ragged, you already know that your fumigation will probably fail.

At Termite Terry, we’ll get rid of all your termites or your treatment is FREE!

People ask us all the time, “How can you offer a guarantee like that when no one else will?” The answer to that is the one extra “secret” step we take to insure the success of all of our fumigations:

We use a Fumiscope and take a final reading before we finish the job

That’s right! About 20 to 24 hours after the gas has been in the structure, we use a Fumiscope, and measure the gas concentration levels. If the amount of gas left inside of the tent is correct, then we know that your termites are gone. On the other hand, if we took a reading and the amount of gas was incorrect, we will add more gas and continue the process until we knew your job was successful.

This “secret” step takes out all of the guesswork. Why do so many of the other termite companies continue to play “guessing games” with their fumigations? Don’t know the answer to that. Maybe it is because this “secret” step takes extra time, and the special equipment we use is very expensive.

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.