Unlike many other termites, drywood termites can digest fungi. Many people grill them as a protein-packed termite mushroom of sorts, in spite of their minuscule size prohibiting any nutritional value to a fully grown human. Drywood termites are typically found in the southern areas of America, but they are also a plague upon Hawaii, where dry wood is a plentiful food source. They seek out warm, and sometimes humid, climates where drier wood is available for consumption.
Drywood termites can exist in any number of locations and, as such, may not become recognized until they are established. Termites can be the epitome of a pest in a home, as their incessant hunger can cause extensive damage to structures, furniture and other expensive materials. If you notice a large, dark swarm of insects from a neighbor’s house or from your own house, it is a very clear sign you need to call a professional pest control agency. Drywood termites swarming is a good indication that these creatures are about to mate and reproduce on a mass scale.
Drywood Termites Identification
Drywood termites are almost always identified by their damage and not their existence. They can hollow out entire spaces behind walls, and as such, a simple knock will let you know if there is damage worth investigating. They are common to Hawaii, Florida, Louisiana and other warm states in America. They primarily feed on dry wood as their name implies but can also devour other woods and domestic materials. Drywood termites are rarely ever seen in home unless construction disturbs their deep-rooted nests.
Drywood termites are about a quarter of an inch long and is larger than other termites. They are a translucent red or dark brown in color and appear to look like a thick larvae. They have darkened ridges across their backs, six legs and a set of antenna on the forefront of the heads which are not unique from their body. They prefer drywood to rotting wood, which is the typical preference common of most other termites, and as such, these creatures may effect houses not previously considered.
Drywood Termites Habitat
Drywood termites have an extended geographical habitat due to the fact that this specific species does not require water. This means humidity only plays a factor in the rotting of wood and may not be a defining factor in their choice of environment. They usually prefer warm climates and are common in the southern states of America but may invade homes across America and Canada where a wood food source is available.
Drywood termites are common in many structural buildings and can cause extensive damage if left untreated. They are very hard to spot and are less frequently sighted in comparison to other termite species. Drywood termites may also be more dangerous in this sense, as colonies can escalate dramatically before being sighted or treated. In the wild, they are known to frequent trees, earning their from their preference to the drywood they are commonly be found in.
Life Cycle of Drywood Termites
Drywood termites are most likely to be sighted when mating. Once a colony has grown large enough in numbers (usually a few hundred), they will swarm from homes or buildings, much to the owner’s surprise, before finding their mate in mid air. Once a male and female have been paired together, they will then take off from the colony in search of a quiet spot to engage in reproduction.
The female will lay her eggs where they mate and will stay with them until they are fully mature. For this reason, a swarm can indicate an area to which very few will come back, but it also means that there is a higher chance of new generations then mating and returning to the area. This cycle can become a nuisance for neighborhoods at large.
Once the eggs hatch, they go through several insar phases in which regular feeding and shedding accommodate their rapid growth to maturity. They will also grow wings during this time and will become fully mature within six months. A female may lay several dozens of eggs and, as such, will establish her own colony very quickly and become a queen. Her mate will become a king and continue to breed with her and any subsequent young will become workers or protectors of the colony.
Drywood Termites and Humans
Termites are the bane of any homeowners existence, but drywood termites are particularly devastating. They are slightly larger than the average termite and can consume far more materials and wood. They are also prolific diggers and can get down to the root of a structure in search of drier wood, causing much more damage.
Drywood Termites Control
Professional pest control is usually always recommend in all cases of drywood termites. This is because they are prolific breeders and can cause extensive damage. Home treatments may not be effective or may not prevent an escalation of damage. Unlike other termites, drywood termites can burrow much deeper and really know how to get to the heart of a structure. Termite treatment cost can vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands.
Whole treatments: Are when the entire house is treated for drywood termites. This may include a temporary relocation on your behalf and several professional evaluations of the damage before further treatments are applied or before you are allowed back into your home.
Spot treatment: Where confirmation of a localized colony exists, homeowners may be able to seek professional treatment in one area, rather than the entire building. This can be more cost-effective.
Repair: Termite damage repair work is usually required once the infestation has been treated. This may vary from minor structural restoration to a major overhaul. A professional contractor should be contacted to establish the correct diagnosis for your case.
Cleaning: Once controlled, the area shroud be sanitized. Feces and urine are especially problematic and a professional cleaning company or your pest control agency should be able to handle this for you if you wish.
Annual checks are recommended in areas with known drywood termites. You may want to increase this to bi-annually if you have recently had an existing termite infestation to ensure there are no signs of termites returning.
Drywood Termites Entomology
Drywood termites belong to the animalia kingdom and are classed as insecta. They are also one of many arthropoda phylum and have their own subclass, the pterygota which is common to most termites. They have a infra-class called neoptera which defines their unique characteristics. Drywood termites also belong to the superorder of dictyoptera which is a very large group of termites, ants and other related insects.