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What are the termite species that can infest the home?
There are three main termite species that will infest a building: subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites. Subterranean termites, which are the most destructive in the US, build large underground colonies that can have millions of members. When they infest a home, they can send thousands of workers at once and infest multiple pieces of wood simultaneously.
The other two species are drywood and dampwood termites. These two can be grouped together because they are very similar, with the main difference being the type of wood they prefer: wood that is low in moisture for drywood termites, and wood that is high in moisture for dampwood termites. Drywood and dampwood termites build their colonies inside the wood they consume, which means they can take a while to get going and cause damage to the home. However, when one of these infestations becomes very large, the home needs to be fumigated, which is a labor and cost-intensive process.
How do you prevent termite infestations?
It can be difficult to prevent drywood and dampwood termite infestations, but subterranean infestations can be prevented using chemical barriers or baiting systems – the same methods used for control. Chemical barriers consist of an insecticide that is injected into the ground around the home, and baiting systems are small plastic receptacles that are installed around the property and contain bait laced with insecticides. The two can be used either separately or in tandem, with the latter option offering protection for your entire property, while using just one of these methods can have some drawbacks.
How do you stop a termite infestation?
The two termite groups are controlled using very different methods. Subterranean termites are controlled with chemical barriers and baiting systems, while drywood/dampwood termites are controlled with localized insecticide treatments or fumigation, depending on their size. A small drywood/dampwood infestation can be easily and inexpensively removed with a localized treatment, but as the infestation spreads throughout multiple parts of the home, these treatments can no longer effectively deal with the colony. This is when tenting and fumigation are needed: the entire house is placed under a tent and gaseous insecticide is released inside.
If you have any other questions about termites, or if you suspect that you have a termite infestation that needs to be removed, contact us today.