Drywood Termite Damage
What does it look like?
Drywood termites live in dry wood located above ground, and do not need soil contact since the wood they consume provides the moisture they need for survival. So, drywood termite feeding galleries do not contain mud, as do subterranean termite galleries.
Drywood termites construct their feeding galleries and often consume all of the wood in a piece of lumber or sheathing right up to the wood’s surface. Therefore, drywood termite wood damage may be recognized by being almost completely consumed with just a rippled, thin layer of painted surface left intact. Feeding galleries vary in size, but the large galleries appear to be connected by a maze of smaller galleries.
Drywood termites will eat wood in a pattern either with or against the grain. More often than not, the observation of wood eaten against the grain is a sign of drywood termite tunneling and damage. The inside of the feeding tunnel is very smooth and looks like it might have been “finished” and smoothed out with sandpaper.
Drywood termites produce small, dry pellets called frass. Their feeding tunnels will either contain frass that is packed into the tunnel or may have frass that is “kicked out” of the tunnel to form a small pile of frass. These frass piles look like tiny piles of sand. Unlike sand, a frass pellet has six concave surfaces and measures about one millimeter in length. The “kick out” holes are not always easy to see since drywood termites plug up the exit holes with pieces of frass that have been “cemented” together.
Where does damage often occur?
Drywood termites can infest and damage dry, sound wood. The specific locations of potential damage in a house include the roof sheathing, rafters, joists, siding, trim, steps, decks, porches, floors, subfloors, doors windows and their frames, furniture, walls, interior wood trim and furniture.
Because of the potential complexity and difficulty in finding drywood termite damage, always seek the advice and assistance of your pest management professional.
How bad can it be?
If drywood infestations remain untreated, the resulting infestation will eventually involve many different portions of the structure and result in significant structural and cosmetic damage.
Learn the signs to look for to determine if you might have a termite infestation.
Termites cost Americans more than $5 billion in damage each year and most insurance plans don’t cover the damage.
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