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Drywood Termite Treatment In Hawaii


Drywood termites do not live in the ground, do not require any kind of contact with the ground, need no water source because they make their own, and they do not build mud tubes. Instead, drywoods live in the wood that they eat. The drywood termite’s colonies are small when compared to the ground termites; drywoods may have over a thousand in a colony but only after they have been established for about ten years. A drywood colony, when left untreated, can live beyond ten years.


The drywood termite usually makes its way around island structures through human activity. The drywoods are transported from place to place by infested furniture, picture frames, and other wood. As they eat, drywood termite colonies produce “kick-out” holes on surfaces of wood; from these holes they expel poop pellets that resemble fine sand. You may hear pest control specialists refer to the poop and garbage that comes out of the holes as frass. If drywood holes are found sealed up, this is an indication of active termite infestation. Frass may be any color; it is dependent on what kind of wood the drywood is eating.


The way in which wood is eaten is an indication of the type of termite present. Drywood termites do not have much of a pattern at all in how they eat wood. The drywood eats across wood grains and in any direction. In other words, drywood termite damage looks a lot different than ground termite damage. 


Signs of Infestation


As the drywood colonies are small and they take a while to get established, the first sign of infestation will likely be the fecal pellets (frass) or fine sand-like stuff being found around. Other signs of infestation will be seeing swarmers around, finding swarmer wings that they have shed, and/or locating seals in wood holes. Sometimes, infested pieces of wood will have what looks like a blister on the surface of wood. The wood underneath being eaten away by termites causes the blister. If the wood blister is pushed on it usually caves in because it is hollow.


If you think you may have a drywood termite infestation, let us help. We accurately identify the infestation – and if needed – offer the best solution based on the degree of infestation. Since drywood infestation is direct and not through the ground, the best treatment methods are (1) fumigation (both tent and vault), (2) localized treatment, or (3) disposal/replacement of the infested piece of wood. Fumigation really only needs to be done if the drywood infestation is all over the place and/or difficult to get to. Otherwise, a localized synthetic treatment should do the trick for a localized infestation. When drywood infestation is confined to a single piece of furniture, picture frame, or something similar that can easily be moved from the house, then it can be treated in our fumigation vault located at our warehouse. Or, the infested item can be destroyed and replaced.

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What are some steps I can take in preventing a drywood termite infestation?


Being proactive in preventing a drywood termite infestation is an important step in protecting a major investment. If you are getting ready to build, there are a few steps in the pre-construction phase that can be taken. First, a termite barrier – created with rock pieces or termite mesh – can be built below the foundation of the structure which prevents the termites from being able to reach the wood of the structure. Many construction projects also treat the foundation itself prior to building. For existing structures, ensure that nothing (e.g., trees, bushes, wood leaning up against the structure, mulch, garbage, etc.) is touching the perimeter of the structure. Be sure that all cracks, crevices, and openings in pipes and wiring going into the structure are sealed to prevent easy access points. Check wooden fences and other wood structures that are not connected to the main structure on a regular basis for signs of infestation. Do not bring any wood products into the structure that has not been treated for termites.


What are some of the signs of a drywood termite infestation?

A first sign of drywood termite infestation might be seeing termite waste (or frass) around. The frass is the termites’ digested wood and may be different colors depending on the type of wood they are eating. Hollow sounds in wood are another sign of infestation. The drywood eats from the inside out, which makes wood look okay from the outside until it’s knocked or touched on. If you break a piece of the soft wood and look at how the wood has been eaten on the inside, the drywoods make tunnels (or galleries) and eat the wood in every direction. The drywood termite never touches dirt (or mud), so if there is the presence of dirt or mud, it may the ground termite and not the drywood. Please call your favorite pest control specialist for a free inspection if you believe you have a drywood termite infestation.

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Please contact us if you have any questions. You can call us directly or email us by using the form below and we’ll try to get back to you within 24hrs. Mahalo


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