It is important to know how termite infestations start in order to keep them out of your home. Most termites build colonies in the ground, and from those colonies, they send out workers on scouting duties to find new sources of wood. These scouts may eventually reach your home and the infestation starts.
Other termite species such as the drywood or dampwood termites have different infestation mechanisms. Since these species build their colonies directly in the wood that they consume, they do not send out scouts. A mature colony will produce swarmers, which are winged reproductive termites – future kings and queens. These swarmers fly out, and when they find suitable pieces of wood, they dig into it, and build a nest. At first, the new queen will handle all the tasks of the nest, but as more and more workers are born, the queen will shift exclusively to reproduction duty, and that’s when the colony starts to grow in size more rapidly.
This means that different termite species have to be treated using different methods. Subterranean termites are known for the huge colonies that they build, so simply removing them from a piece of wood will not end the infestation. Instead you need to either cut the connection between your home and the colony using a chemical barrier, or you have to kill the colony using a baiting system. Drywood and dampwood termites on the other hand can be killed by treating the infested wood. However, if the infestation is widespread throughout the home, it can no longer be treated locally, and you will need a whole-house fumigation to kill all the termites that are inside.
At this point, it might seem prudent to set up some preventative measures that will stop an infestation from taking root in the first place. However, unless you have a chemical barrier, you cannot really stop a subterranean termite infestation from occurring, and drywood/dampwood infestations could only be prevented if all the wood in the home is treated with termiticide. So your best bet if you want to prevent extensive termite damage is to discover an infestation early on. In order to do this, you will need the help of a pro, who will conduct termite inspections on a yearly basis. If you would like to know more about the benefits of a yearly termite inspection, or if you suspect that you have a termite infestation, contact us today.