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drywood termites

Drywood Termite Control

Throughout Southern California and San Diego, the number one destroyer of homes is not fire or flood or earthquakes. It's termites. It is believed that close to 75% of the buildings here in Southern California are host to at least one minor colony - and the majority of these are drywood termites (Incisitermes minor).

  • Swarmers flying in autumn
  • Wings broken off near window
  • Pellets like coarse sawdust
  • Blistering of paint's surface
  • Wood damage

Life Cycle: A mated pair of winged adults will form a new colony once they drop the wings and enter a structure through cracks or crevices in September or October of each year. The wings are longer than the body, a sure sign that they are not ants. They look for bare wood and then create a chamber, where they then mate and raise their brood. Eggs hatch in about 2 ½ months. Nymphs can quickly take care of themselves, and will also tend to the queen and king. The nymphs will obtain food and tend the nest, while the soldiers, which have larger heads, defend the nest from invaders. There is no worker caste. A queen can live for 15 years, during which the colony may grow to thousands of nymphs. A single structure can also be host to multiple colonies.

The swarming drywood termites will generally leave the colony between August and November, taking flight to search for new wood to conquer. Sometimes people might even misidentify a termite as a flying ant. The female emits a pheromone, or scent, to attract a male termite. Once they have found each other, the pair will enter a crack or crevice in a home and snap off their wings to make it easier to burrow. They gnaw a pear-shaped chamber and, once constructed, mate. The female lays eggs that will soon hatch into "nymphs." It is these nymphs that do most of the burrowing damage as they work around the clock to establish the colony and aid the incubation of new termite eggs. A typical colony of drywood termites takes about four years to mature, eating wood and expanding throughout the structure. During this time, a small percentage will develop into soldiers and alates - the reproductive swarmers that will continue the cycle, flying off to expand the domain of the population.

The cycle then repeats annually, with the swarmers - often hundreds of them at a time - leaving the hidden galleries to establish their own colonies in a beam nearby.

The drywood termites are just like ants because they can easily enter your home through vents or cracks in trim, eaves, window frames, and exposed rafters. They will eat any cellulose material they find: structural timber, wooden furniture, even books. And since they attack wood from the inside out, you may never know what damage you've sustained until it's too late.

For more information call Vester san diego pest control experts

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