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How to Get Rid of Dampwood Termites

Known as the largest type of termite species, dampwood termites are capable of causing substantial damage to your home. But unlike other termites that feed on any wood on your property, dampwood termites only feed on wet, moist, or rotting wood. While that might not be a problem for many residential and commercial properties in New York City, properties that are prone to humidity, chronic leaks, and heavy rainfall are susceptible to dampwood termite infestations.

So how can a property owner get rid of dampwood termites? If you see signs of infestation, it’s best to contact experienced pest control specialists that can exterminate special types of termites. But if you suspect that your property may be prone to dampwood termites, the best way to get rid of them is to prevent your property from providing everything they need to thrive and increase their population. 

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Ways to Get Rid of Dampwood Termites

If you see signs of a dampwood termite infestation or suspect that your home may be prone to an infestation, you have two options: ensure that your home isn’t the perfect breeding ground for termites to thrive in, and then contact an exterminator to assess your property. 

Check Your Home for Leaky Pipes and HVAC Damage

A common source of moisture that homes experience excessive wet and humid conditions is because of a plumbing or roofing leak. When water seeps into your property’s structure, it can reach the wooden areas within your property and cause moisture issues and eventually decay from the inside. This damp wood can attract dampwood termites into finding moist areas around your home. 

To prevent this, it’s important to keep your property leak-free. Conducting plumbing and HVAC maintenance at least once a year can help you find potential leaks before they get worse. Leak-proofing your pipes, updating your fixtures, repairing your roofing, and ensuring all moisture is contained can prevent water damage that attract termites. 

Keep Your Home Well-Ventilated

Practices like maintaining your home’s HVAC systems, opening windows, and installing ventilators in rooms like your bathroom can help you control the moisture on your property. For rooms like bathrooms and kitchens where moisture is prevalent, opening windows and cleaning up puddles can immediately prevent excessive moisture from seeping in. Ensure that places like your home’s crawl space, attic, and basement are well-ventilated to reduce humidity that can turn into moisture. 

Get Rid of Any Decaying or Damaged Wood

Dampwood termites are attracted specifically to wood that’s water-damaged or decaying due to excess moisture. Check your backyard for any signs of decaying wood pieces and dead trees and dispose of them properly. If you have wooden objects in your garage, basement, attic, or shed, make sure that these are properly sealed or kept away from sources of moisture. 

If your home has experienced heavy rain or flooding, have a professional check your property for any potential water damage. Some signs of wet rot inside your walls and other wooden fixtures in your home include:

  • Wood that’s a darker color compared to its original color
  • Soft and spongy wood
  • A cracked, shrunken appearance when the wood is dry on the outside
  • Signs of fungal growth (mold and mildew surrounding the wood)
  • A damp, musty odor

A good way to spot rotting wood is to take a sharp knife or any blade. If you can easily stab more than an eighth of an inch into the wood, it’s a sign that the wood has been compromised.

Use Wood Treatments

For wooden furniture and wooden fixtures, it can help to use chemical treatment on the outer layer of your furniture. On top of repelling excessive moisture, it can be possible to ward off dampwood termites from burrowing and finding another place to build their colony. 

Contact a Termite Exterminator

The problem with dealing with termites is that they can silently infest your property. If you don’t aren’t conducting annual termite checks, it’s possible for termite colonies to grow right under your nose until you spot the signs of an infestation through expensive property damage. Termites can also be difficult to remove without understanding their behavior, habitat, and potential areas where they’ve formed a termite colony. 

Rather than just trying to kill a handful of termites, professional termite exterminators can remove all dampwood termites from your premises. They understand the behavior of colonies and can administer the right treatment method to use on properties of all sizes. This is the most effective solution to remove all termites from your property and worsen any more damage. 

Spotting Dampwood Termites in Your Home

There are several ways to spot signs of dampwood termites on your property. Here are some ways to spot dampwood termites on your property. 

Their Habitat

Like many other termite species that aren’t considered subterranean termites, dampwood termites burrow tunnels through wood. But unlike most termite species, dampwood termites tend to frequent areas with high moisture. This means they’re likely to infest the walls around your bathroom and kitchen. 

Outdoors, you can find them frequenting logs, stumps, dead, trees, fence posts, and many other untreated wooden areas that are prone to wet rot. Unlike other subterranean termites, they don’t burrow underground and instead look for wooden areas they can burrow into. 

What To Look Out For

Water-damaged wood is the most common reason why most properties attract dampwood termites. Start outdoors – watch out for wooden objects like tree stumps, fallen branches, extra planks, and any wood that comes into direct contact with water and the ground. 

Dampwood termites aren’t subterranean termites and will find wood to burrow into rather than build underground. These attract dampwood termites onto the grounds of your property, which can then lead them to search for other wet wooden items indoors. 

If your property has experienced a major natural incident like heavy rains or storms, it’s important to check for signs of leaks or water damage. If left unchecked, this can both compromise the structure of your home while also attracting termites to come into your property. 

Signs of an Infestation

Termite nests can be built right under your nose. If you see signs of a dampwood termite infestation, it’s best to contact a pest control specialist as soon as possible to prevent any further damage. 

We can eradicate the termites on your property and then help you assess the damage to determine if you should have it professionally repaired or replaced. Some signs of an infestation on your property include:

  • Wood damage. Unlike other termite species that burrow underground, dampwood termites tend to colonize in large pieces of decayed wood. If you find damage that goes across the grain, especially in decaying and rotten wood, there may be dampwood termites in it. 
  • Dampwood termite feces. Instead of mud tubes, dampwood termites use their fecal pellets to seal the entry holes of the wood they infest. When the wood is soft and moist, the pellets are also moist and tend to stick to the wood. But if it’s dry on the outside, you can find the pellets on the ground. 
  • Winged swarmer sightings. These may look like winged ants, but they’re actually male and female winged termites made for the purpose of finding new areas to start new colonies and mate. Some people may have difficulty telling these reproductive termites apart from winged ants, but dampwood termites are much larger than winged ants and can be identified by their straight antenna, four pairs of wings, and mandibles on the front. 

Let Positive Pest Management Protect Your Property

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On top of water damage, wet rot, and structural instability, dampwood termites can cause substantial damage to your property. Keeping your home dry and controlling your indoor humidity and moisture content can prevent your property from attracting dampwood termites. But if you’re already experiencing an infestation, it’s best to contact reliable pest control services to remove all termite colonies from your property before seeking out professionals to repair the damage on your residential or commercial property. 

Contact Positive Pest Management can quickly and effectively remove insects from your property for your comfort and safety. Get back your peace of mind and contact us today to receive a free estimate on our termite control services.

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