Termites can remain active throughout the year and even cold weather conditions cannot stop them from taking shelter and hiding deep within wood structures inside your home. One of the common species of termites that you may likely find indoors is the dampwood termite.
So what attracts dampwood termites to get inside your home? Dampwood termites get their name because they actively look for decayed wood surfaces and wooden structures with water-related damage or excess moisture content. If you have an existing roof leak, damaged water pipes, plumbing issue, or ventilation problems, dampwood termites will be easily drawn to your home.
Termites aren’t only a nuisance household pest but their infestation could lead to structural damage and costly annual repairs. Unfortunately, these invasive pests are silent wood destroyers and you might not notice that you have a dampwood termite infestation until you see visible property damage.
Being proactive in pest control and using preventative measures can go a long way in avoiding a severe dampwood termite problem. One of the most crucial steps in termite control is having good knowledge about what starts an infestation. Here are the possible reasons for an indoor dampwood termite infestation:
Having poor ventilation can cause moisture and condensation to accumulate in the foundation walls and wood surfaces inside your home. This can make your house an attractive nesting place for dampwood termites since they have high moisture requirements to survive.
Termites are notorious for being wood destroyers and if you have wooden furniture, there’s always the risk of having a termite infestation. However, dampwood termites will just not infest any wood and they’re more interested in damaged and decaying wood. They’re likely to attack old furniture with untreated wood that has started to rot or have accumulated mildew and fungus.
Another possible cause of dampwood termite infestations is that you have unresolved plumbings issues or water problems. Leaky faucets, sinks, and air conditioners can increase moisture levels and invite termite pests to settle inside your home. Dampwood termites are likely to hide in the crawl spaces, basements, wooden door frames, and attics where there’s excessive moisture.
Having clogged gutters and downspouts can affect how water flows away from the roof of your house. If it’s not draining properly, the water can spill over the sides of the gutters and damage your foundation. This can eventually lead to the accumulation of moisture in the exterior walls and create an ideal nesting ground for dampwood termites. Water may also drain to the soil in the ground and attract dampwood termites once it becomes excessively moist.
Having some parts of your home’s foundation or structural wood in direct contact with moist soil can make it easy for dampwood termites to enter inside. If you have overgrown shrubs or tree limbs that are extending to your home, the termite pests can use them as a way to sneak inside your home. The tree branches may also block the entry of sunlight into your home and encourage moisture to accumulate indoors.
Placing stacks of firewood and damp wood piles close to your home can also attract dampwood termites. Likewise, if you have garden mulch touching the wood siding or foundation of your home, the termites can use this as a bridge to enter your house and destroy the structural integrity of your property.
There are thousands of termite species scattered throughout the country and any one of them can be the culprit of infestation in your home. It’s important to have an idea about the unique characteristics of each termite type to know which species is invading your property. Here are the differences between the common termites:
These pests are normally larger in size compared to other types of termites. Its soldier caste and nymph dampwood termites can grow up to 1/2 to 3/4 inches and the winged swarmers can measure up to 1 inch.
They generally have brown bodies but their nymph caste have a creamy white appearance. Dampwood termites are active year-round but they usually go out to swarm during late summer months.
Unlike dampwood termites, the drywood species are more likely to infest dry and sound wood, furniture, flooring, support beams, and can be found hiding in the cracks, holes, and wall voids inside the home.
They appear smaller in size, ranging from 1/4 to 3/8 inches long. The worker caste usually have cream-colored bodies, the soldiers can appear dark to light brown, and the reproductive termites can vary from brown to black with translucent sets of wings.
These termites prefer to live underground where they have access to soil. However, they can also travel inside homes through the cracks in the foundation and feed on the wooden materials and structures indoors. The workers of subterranean termites can measure up to 1/4 inch while the swarmers can grow up to one-half inch long with a pair of termite wings.
These termites are known for building mud tubes on wall surfaces, ceilings, and baseboards so if you see some mud-like tubes inside your home, you most likely have a subterranean termite infestation. You may also find swarms of subterranean termites during warmer months.
Formosan termites are a sub-species of subterranean termites and they are one of the most destructive wood-eating pests. They can measure up to 1/2 inch long and they have cream to light brown bodies with yellowish wings. Formosan termite colonies can be found inside walls, attics, and roof areas of homes and buildings. They may also establish their nests above ground near water sources.
Unlike other termites, the dampwood species don’t usually leave any external evidence like mud shelter tubes or kick out holes in the wood that they’re infesting. Dampwood termites do a good job at hiding themselves so you may need the help of pest control professionals to confirm their activity in your home. During a pest inspection, the team may look for the following warning signs of dampwood termites:
There are several preventive measures and pest control methods that can help mitigate dampwood termite infestation. Here are some of the things that you can do to get rid of these termites:
You should also consider calling a professional pest control company that can help exterminate dampwood termites. Depending on the extent of the infestation, they may recommend either of the following termite control methods to solve your pest problem:
Dampwood termites prefer living outdoors where they are close to moist soil, dead trees, and decaying wood. However, they can also invade your home if you have wood structures with water damage, damp walls and surfaces, leaky pipes, and ventilation issues.
Our team of experts at Positive Pest Management can help make your home free from dampwood termites. We offer comprehensive pest management solutions, prevention measures, and extermination programs to help give you back your peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule a home inspection with our team.