There are three major kinds of termites that plague San Mateo homes: subterranean termites, dampwood termites, and drywood termites. While many people consider subterranean termites to be the most common, you shouldn't forget about drywood termites, which can sometimes be just as destructive.
Here's what San Mateo homeowners should know about how to identify a drywood termite infestation, why they can cause so much damage, how to prevent termites, and how to get rid of them with pest control in San Mateo.
How To Identify A Drywood Termite Infestation
When it comes to identifying a drywood termite problem, there are some telltale signs of termites inside your house, including:
- You find termite droppings (frass). Drywood termites produce droppings, which are called frass, and look similar to sawdust and coffee grounds. When they build tunnels inside your walls, drywood termites push out their frass, and you may find it piled around your walls, baseboards, or furniture.
- Your walls sound hollow. As they build tunnels inside your walls, drywood termites are slowly hollowing out your walls. You may not notice immediately, but this can cause your walls or floors to sound hollow when you tap on them.
- You hear clicking noises. With more severe drywood termite infestations, you may be able to hear these pests in your walls. Drywood termite soldiers can produce soft clicking sounds.
- You find termite wings or swarmers. Drywood termites will eventually swarm during certain parts of the year to find a mate and populate new colonies. These alates have wings that they'll shed following the swarm. You may find these wings around doors and windows. Many people describe them as looking similar to fish scales.
Some other less obvious signs of a drywood termite infestation may include stuck doors and windows, maze-like patterns in your furniture or walls, and finding insects that look like "white ants" around your home.
Drywood Termite Damage Can Be Extensive
Are termites dangerous? Yes, drywood termites are very dangerous. Drywood termites are responsible for millions of dollars in property damage each year, and the signs listed above can take multiple years before they show up. During this time, drywood termites have plenty of time to cause extensive damage to your home by hollowing out your walls, ruining furniture, or even introducing excess moisture to your walls and floors.
With a small colony of drywood termites, it can take around four or five months for them to eat a 2x4 piece of wood. As the termite infestation grows, large drywood termite colonies can eat through the same amount of wood in much smaller amounts of time.
How To Remove Factors That Attract Termites
Although it isn't always easy to prevent drywood termites or other kinds of termites, there are some things you can do to remove factors that may attract them to your home, including:
- Make sure you're not leaving any open cracks or crevices around your home's foundation or wooden siding, which may allow drywood termites to gain access.
- Make sure you're keeping woodpiles and cellulose-materials at least twenty feet from the home.
- If you're remodeling your home or doing a construction project, ensure you're using properly treated wood.
- Paint or seal off any exposed wood that has weathered over time.
- Regularly check for signs of drywood termite activity, like the ones listed above.
Along with these tips you can do yourself, having a pest management professional inspect your home annually can help you identify infestations before they cause damage – or locate areas that may be attracting drywood termites to your home.
The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Drywood Termites
When it comes to how to treat termites in walls, the most effective form of termite control comes from working with a professional like Pacific Pest Management. Instead of wasting your time on DIY treatments that are unlikely to work or eliminate the infestation, our pest management professionals are experienced in dealing with drywood termites.
We've got close to twenty years of experience in the pest management industry that we can put to good use in your home. If you're seeing some of the signs that we've listed above or want to schedule an annual inspection to make sure you don't have drywood termites, we're only one phone call away. Contact us today at Pacific Pest Management to learn more about our termite control program.