Drywood termites are very different from their cousins who live in the ground. Common in arid, dry regions, drywood termites live above ground and often times go unnoticed for many years.
Drywood termites can do a lot of damage because they eat wood. And they will most often infest outside siding like soffits, facia boards or attic spaces. These areas are often far from active people living in the home which allows the problem to develop undetected.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE DRYWOOD TERMITES? ^
Don’t expect to actually see live termites. Its more likely you’ll see swarmers which are winged reproductives an active colony will release 1-2 a year.
The most common way people learn that they have drywood termites is because they start to find termite droppings.
This happens after a colony gets established on the home. At first, their droppings could very well be dropped outside the home or in a wall void out of sight. But over time, the colony will grow and their fecal matter will increase which means the likelihood of finding some will increase.
Eventually the activity will move down to living areas where they’ll end up dumping it through a port or “hole” which leads into a living space. Through these holes the droppings will be sent and that’s when the homeowner begins to notice little piles accumulating on a countertops, alongside baseboard molding or inside a cabinet.
Drywood termite fecal pellets are small, a bit thinner than grain of rice, and half as long. Most people mistake it to be nothing more than dirt. But if you keep finding the same “dirt” in the same place, take a close look.
DRYWOOD TERMITES CAN CAUSE DAMAGE ^
Like most wood eating organisms, drywood termites will cause damage as they eat their way through structural members in the home. In general, they don’t move quickly so don’t panic if you discover activity. But understand the problem needs to be treated to ensure it doesn’t linger allowing them to cause more damage.
HOW TO TREAT A HOME FOR DRYWOOD TERMITES ^
The most common way drywood termites have been treated in the past was by tenting the structure and fumigating. This process ensures all active insects in the home are killed. But the treatment is costly; the average home will cost $15,000+ to be fumigated. For this reason other treatments have been developed and at this time, there are a couple that work well.
HOW TO TREAT OPEN WALL VOIDS OR ATTICS FOR TERMITES ^
For open areas like an attic, rafters, roof decking, exterior siding and the wood found under the home in crawl spaces, BORATHOR is a good way to properly treat an active problem. Borathor is a boron based chemical which is designed to soak into wood. A thorough application can penetrate 3-4 inches and once the treatment cures (which takes 48-72 hours), insects eating the wood will die. So for open, accessible areas, Borathor is a cost effective long lasting treatment that will both control and prevent future termite activity.
To calculate how much Borathor you’ll need to apply, you’ll first want to measure the square footage of the area you intend on treating. Coverage will depend on the thickness of the wood. For example, 1″ thick siding will require 1 gallon of concentrate per 1,000-2,000 sq/ft. But if you’re treating mostly 2×4’s or 2×6’s, coverage will be less and more in the range of 500-1000 board feet.
Borathor is odorless and can be applied with a standard PUMP SPRAYER. But you can also paint it on.
For hard to access spaces, you can even fog it. We have several fogging machines which will mist the product out over the area needing protection thus ensuring proper coverage with little effort. The good thing about fogging is that you can get the material evenly distributed in very little time.
The most popular and powerful fogger for the job is our own BUGSPRAY FOGGER. It can pump over 20 oz per minute and spray out 25-30 feet.
HOW TO TREAT HIDDEN WALL VOIDS AND SPACES FOR TERMITES ^
If you have termites behind a wall void and don’t want to open up the space, inject with FS MP AEROSOL. This product uses penetrating oil based agents sure to deliver the active throughout the wood, galleries and tunnels insuring a swift and thorough eradication of any nests directly treated.
Each can cover and area 10 feet wide by 10 feet tall when injecting every 4 inches. You’ll need to drill small 1/8″ holes for the “straw” injector to fit nice and snug. These holes should be spaced every 4 inches as the treatment will typically migrate 2 inches in all directions when treating “solid” wood.
If treating wood that has tunnels or galleries, the spray will carry and migrate 1-2 feet in all directions so less holes will do the job.
Once applied, FS MP will last pretty much forever in the wall void assuming the area is not washed or exposed to sunlight.
For large areas, get our FOAMING TOOL and make your own foam insecticide. This will prove more economical and for large jobs, more efficient.
This device works like any standard sprayer; you simply add the chemical you want to foam along with some FOAMING AGENT and you’ll be able to convert 1 gallon of liquid to 10 gallons of foam.
To create foam, you’ll need to add 2-4 oz per gallon. Use 2 oz to create more loose “liquidy” foam; use 4 oz for a heavy, thick shaving cream type foam.
The insecticide needed to add to the foamer is PROTHOR. Its a “non repellent” meaning it won’t spook termites or any other insect as they can’t detect it. For this reason Prothor is a great product for use around homes in the soil as well as in wall voids once they are active in the home.
Odorless and long lasting, you’ll need to add 3 ounces gallons of Adonis per gallon of water along with the 2-4 oz of foaming agent. Use the foam to fill wall voids, ceiling spaces, hollow block, subslab spaces and sub-flooring. 1 gallon of mixture can treat about a 10 foot by 10 foot area of wall void space but this can vary based on how “deep” the void is, how much (if any) insulation is behind the wall, etc.
In summary, drywood termites can be “scary” when first identified. But they don’t eat quickly and with the right product applied at the right location, you can control any nest using the right combination of the products listed above.