When land is cleared and houses or other buildings constructed, these structures are then subject to attack.
Drywood termites enter structures through attic or foundation vents, directly through or under wood shingles, under eaves and fascia boards, and through natural cracks, checks and joints in exposed wood trim, window and door frames and sills.
Drywood termite alates can penetrate flat wood surfaces, but prefer to wedge themselves into narrow places to begin tunneling.
Most new homes are constructed on concrete slabs and have tile roofs. However, attic areas are normally vented and wood trim is still commonly used externally.
Signs of Infestation
- Generally, the first indirect sign of infestation is the discovery of fecal pellets or the presence of alates on windowsills or near lights.
- Alates found inside the house (if windows and doors have been closed), are an indication of infestation within the structure.
- Another indication of infestation is the presence of discarded wings near emergence sites, on windowsills or caught up in cobwebs.
- The presence of alates outdoors is a natural phenomenon and is not an implication of home infestation.
- Drywood termites spend their entire lives inside wood.
- They construct round “kick holes” in infested wood, through which the fecal pellets are eliminated from the galleries or tunnels.
- These pellets accumulate in small piles below the kick holes, or will be scattered if the distance between the kick hole and the surface below is very great.
- Fecal pellets also may be found caught in spider webs.
- Fecal pellets are distinctive and used for identification of drywood termite infestation.
- Drywood fecal pellets are hard, elongated and less than 1/25 inch long.
- They have rounded ends and six flattened or concavely depressed sides with ridges at angles between the six surfaces.
- The characteristic shape results when the termite exerts pressure on the fecal material to extract and conserve moisture in its hindgut.
- Typically the pellets are a light tan in color with some black ones mixed in.
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