Can I Get Rid Of Drywood Termites On My Own In The Bay Area?

Drywood termites crawling on some frass.

The pleasant, Mediterranean climate of the San Francisco Bay Area isn’t only something that attracts out-of-towners here. This West Coast city is also a hotbed for termite activity, so much so that it’s an ongoing issue for property owners year-round. 

In San Francisco, one species of termites, in particular, drywood termites, are notorious for causing significant structural to manufactured wooden structures, including your home and the belongings in it.
Read below for more about drywood termites, the damage they cause, telltale signs, and prevention tips. 

What Are Drywood Termites?

Drywood termites typically measure up to a half-inch in length and are light brown in color, though they can also be dark brown or tan with a yellowish tint.
Unlike other termite species, drywood termites don’t require moisture from the soil to survive. Instead, these termites feed on dry wood, which supplies them with all the water they need. Because of their food source, these insects tend to feed on dry wood that’s above ground—and feed, they most certainly do.
Drywood termite colonies can house up to 10,000 termites, and they all live inside of the wood they consume. Colony maturation can take several years, and once this number is reached, members of the existing colony will break away and start a new one. Smaller than the average termite colony, which houses anywhere from 60,000 to one million termites, drywood termites tend to multiply at a slower pace; however, this doesn’t necessarily make them easier to eradicate.

What Kind Of Damage Can Drywood Termites Do?

Drywood termites aren’t shy dinner guests. A single colony of drywood termites can eat up to a cubic foot of wood in a year. While that may not seem like a lot, it can destroy your home or property over time. 
Drywood termites will target anything that contains wood or cellulose. Outdoors this includes wooden structures, such as barns and sheds, woodpiles, stacks of firewood, tree stumps, and mulch. Indoors they’ll target wooden structural beams and hardwood flooring, as well as wallpaper, carpet backing, and drywall. They’ll also eat their way through furniture and other household belongings, such as picture frames, books, and boxes.
If left alone, drywood termites will eat a home from the inside out. Unfortunately, drywood termites are tough to detect, as they live entirely inside of wood and don’t need to venture elsewhere. For this reason, you’ll need to be vigilant about the potential signs. 

Telltale Signs Of Drywood Termites 

Drywood termites aren’t the most noticeable house pests, but if you suspect a potential infestation, you may notice one or more of the following:

  • Shed termite wings, which are very small and contain three or four veins in each wing.
  • Termite droppings, known as “frass,” resemble grains of salt or sand; drywood termites push their excrement out of holes they create in the wood.
  • Hollow-sounding wood is a more serious sign, as drywood termites leave behind a skinny layer of wood or paint on the structures they’ve consumed.

Termite Prevention Tips 

Although there’s no way to prevent termites from invading your home and property fully, here are two precautionary suggestions that may help to dissuade them:

  • Seal all exterior cracks and crevices, which may allow termites to enter the home.
  • Close the small splits in wood and gloss over them with a coat of fresh paint.
  • Discard any wooden or cellulose-containing materials and debris in and around your home, including basements and crawlspace.

It’s nearly impossible to fully eradicate drywood termites from your home and property on your own. For professional pest control advice and assistance, the best course is to call the professionals at Bay Pest. We will get to the root of the problem, and we’ll remove these pests—and give you peace of mind. 

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