San Diego is a haven for termites. Unlike more inland regions, the moisture and environmental conditions in San Diego County allows for drywood termites to thrive. The drywood swarming season begins at the start of fall and lasts into the winter. It takes years for a termite colony to reach the size necessary to yield swarmers. A termite swarm is a sign that the colony is most likely alive and thriving. Any signs of a swarm should prompt a homeowner to contact a termite control provider for an inspection.
Evidence of Drywood Termites
Drywood termites can be identified from the “kick-out” holes they create. These tiny holes are used to discard the termites’ fecal pellets, or frass. The pellets often appear as small, beige, sawdust-like piles. However, unlike wood shavings, drywood termite frass is uniform and six-sided in shape. You will find pellets below the kick-out holes, often in windowsills, cabinets, by wood furniture, or in walls and ceilings. Homeowners should verify that any kick-out holes and/or frass are from active colonies. Sweep away any piles of termite droppings and check every few days to see if more pellets appear.
Drywood termites can easily eat their way through wood framing, floorboards, support beams, and furniture, leaving only a hollow shell of wood grain. Structural members that are infested with termites can be extremely dangerous due to softened, hollowed-out wood. Potentially-infested wood will give easily if pressed on, and can often be seen sagging or leaning under weight.
Drywood Termite Control & Treatment
Once the location or locations of their colonies are established, treatment will be necessary to rid the home or structure of termites. Due to the fact that drywood termites don’t stray far from their living space, whole-house tenting & fumigation is often not necessary. For most infestations, drywood termites can be spot-treated with Orange Oil Plus, an all-natural termiticide. Unlike fumigation, treating with Orange Oil Plus does not require the homeowners to pack up items and leave the home.