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How Serious is Dampwood Termite Damage?

Nobody wants to see termites eating their wooden beams and furniture pieces at home, especially if it’s the dampwood termites which are the biggest of the bunch. These pests are a huge concern for many homeowners because of their large size and the amount of damages they cause in a short amount of time.

So how serious are the damages caused by dampwood termites? Dampwood termites attack wood that has excessive moisture content, causing them to be hollow or damaged by fungi. Replacing the infested wood and repairing all kinds of damages can cost a homeowner up to thousands of dollars out of their pocket. With this said, it’s important to eliminate dampwood termites the moment you see signs of their infestation, or better yet, keep them at bay. 

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Dampwood Termites and The Damage They Cause

Termites are the worst pests to invade a home because they’re extremely destructive. These household pests are responsible for up to a collective $5 billion worth of property damages in the United States every year, so it’s important to keep your home free of termites and avoid thousands of dollars in repair.

One of the many species of termites that homeowners may find in their homes is dampwood termite. They’re the biggest termite species, which makes it easy for them to quickly attack the wet wood in a property and cause significant damage in a short time. It’s important to tell them apart from other species of termites so proper termite control measures can be applied before they cause further damage

Identifying Dampwood Termites

The first step to eliminating dampwood termites is to tell them apart from other types of termites like the Formosan termites, subterranean termites, and drywood termites.

Dampwood termites are larger than most termite species with a body that measures around 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch long. They also have a pair of antennae and 6 legs attached to their long and narrow bodies that are creamy-white to dark brown in color. Some of them may also have wings that extend beyond the abdomen.

Nesting Habits of Dampwood Termites

Whether or not dampwood termites will attack and build their termite nests depends on the degree of moisture of the wood. They prefer damp and decaying wood over sound wood, hence their name.

Unlike subterranean termites, these pests don’t create dampwood termite colonies in the soil. They only attack wood structures on the ground, like tree stumps, fences, sheds, leaf litters, and decayed wood piles if they have high moisture content.

Aside from moist wood, these dampwood termites are also found near a source of moisture. Even if the climate is already humid, they still need close contact with water or else they won’t survive. 

Structural Damages By Dampwood Termites

Like other species of termites, dampwood termites that attack the wet or rotten wood in your home can cause serious structural damage. They weaken the foundation’s stability and even attract fungi that attack the moist wood structures.

One of the most alarming things about dampwood termite infestations is how hard they are to find. Unlike subterranean termites that create shelter tubes, these pests can completely live inside the wood they eat and remain unnoticed for years. They also plug the openings of the wood they attack to preserve humidity, making it hard for homeowners to spot openings on the damaged wood.

Although termites aren’t a health hazard to humans, they can cost homeowners thousands of dollars in repair as they chew on the wet or dead wood around the property. Homeowners are also required to discuss to homebuyers about wood destroying insects that infested the home, lowering the value of the property by about 25%. 

How to Find Dampwood Termites At Home

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One crucial part of eliminating dampwood termites at home is to know how and where to look for them. It’s essential to find them before they start causing irreparable damage, so make sure to look out for these signs and check these places for termite activity:

Signs of Dampwood Termite Activity

  • Piles of shed wings after the swarming season
  • Soft spots or hollow sounds in infested wood
  • Smooth and velvety termite galleries in discarded wood
  • Accumulation of ejected wood pellets
  • Fecal pellets near the wood galleries or wood siding (usually elongated with round ends, but the surface isn’t flattened)

Places to Look For Dampwood Termites

  • Any wooden structure that’s near a leaky pipe or another kind of water source
  • Rotting planks
  • Leaky roof eaves
  • Log piles outside the house
  • Fence posts
  • Utility poles
  • Planter boxes
  • Dead trees
  • Wet timber
  • Tree stump 

What To Do About a Dampwood Termite Infestation

When it comes to treating dampwood termites, termite control service providers need to evaluate the degree of termite infestation first and check if these pests have soil contact or not before creating a dampwood termite extermination plan.

If the dampwood termites are nesting inside wood that isn’t in contact with soil, then pest management professionals should apply treatment methods similar to drywood termite extermination. But if the infested wood touches the ground, then the pest control company should use the appropriate treatment methods for subterranean termites.

Instead of simply eliminating one nest, it’s important to get rid of the entire colony of dampwood termites so they won’t repopulate and reinfest the property. Here’s an effective guide on how to eliminate the termites and keep your home safe from these pests: 

Step 1: Treat the Infested Wood with Bora Care

Bora Care is a borate-based product that’s mixed with equal parts of water to kill the dampwood termite as they feed on the treated wood. The thick solution is usually sprayed, foamed, or painted on the wood to interfere with the digestion of the termites. It also works well in getting rid of other termite species. 

Step 2: Replace the Damaged Wood

Most of the attacked wood is already dangerous to keep because they’re already hollow inside. There's also a chance that the surviving termites may reinfest if left alone, so make sure to prioritize the replacements of wood on the property after the treatment of termite attack. 

Step 3: Fix Moisture Issues

Moisture is critical to dampwood termites, so make sure that they won’t be attracted to your home anymore by fixing all the excess moisture problems. This includes issues like leaky pipes and faulty drainage systems. Another part of effective moisture control is to reduce the humidity of the home by correcting the ventilation in the basement, attic, and crawl space. 

Defend Your Home From Termites with Positive Pest Management

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Dampwood termites can cost thousands of dollars in structural repair, so make sure that your home is free of these pests. If you suspect termite activity at home, don’t hesitate to call a pest management professional like Positive Pest Management to take care of the problem for you.

We use IPM-based methods to safely and effectively get rid of dampwood termites without harming the residents, their pets, and the environment. We also provide tips and preventative measures to keep your home termite-free for a long time.

To know more about our pest control services or book a free estimate, call us now at 1-800-294-3130.

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