When Drywood termites start a new colony it begins with a process we call Swarming. They send the reproductive members out of the colony, we refer to these termites as Alates (latin term for winged termite) or Swarmers. Once these termites land they shed their wings and immediately try to burrow into wood. They can often infiltrate house through cracks in wood siding, natural checks of exterior wood beams, under “j-trim” of stucco, cracks between stucco and windows or door frames. If this occurs you will often times see a lot of wings laying on the ground as they have been shed and abandoned by the termites. Typically you will see this occur during the monsoon season during or after rain as this process is usually triggered by humidity and temperature, and it is common to see these wings outside. The concerning part is when this occurs inside as this is an indication that the old colony that they flew from, is in your house.
Gecko Pest Management’s Approach to Tucson Drywood Termite Control…
As said above these termites do not need to trail down beneath the structure and it’s because of this the normal treatment at the foundation of the house will not work for this species. For decades the best way to eliminate these insects was to do a whole house fumigation. Local spot treatments using liquids were always regarded as inferior as the only the areas showing signs of infestation were treated, leaving some of the colony untreated. As these termites only needed a small number of survivors to reproduce and restart the colony a lot of the time the treatments were unsuccessful. Then a new age dawned, the non-repellent termiticide was introduced, this meant we could treat the voids they created in the wood and they would continue to walk through these voids instead of keeping away from them. The most successful of these is Fipronil, you probably know it under the brand name Termidor. Termidor works so well because it does not take effect for quite some time, members of the colony exposed to a lethal dose of Termidor termite exterminator show no signs of altered behavior, thus the colonies’ natural survival instinct is not triggered. This continues for about 30-60 days, during this time the termites continue practicing their duties within the colony caste system the all the while transferring Termidor to other nest mates. As the chemical starts to take effect the natural defenses of the colony are triggered, yet at this point it has already spread throughout and it is just a matter of time.
In conjunction with the efficiency of Termidor we at Gecko have also developed our own set of skills that only come with performing many of these treatments successfully. Knowing what it feels like when the drill bits “pop” into a drywood termite gallery and how it feels different than the drill bit moving through the different grains in the wood. What the resistence in the application equipment feels like when it is injecting into a gallery in wood versus just being pumped into an open void in the wall. Things like this have made Gecko Pest Management the go-to termite control company in terms of Drywood Termite Spot Treatments. That being said we are also a humble company that knows our limitations. In some cases we may request that wood siding be removed or in others, the drywall be sectioned to make access to the studs. While other infestations are just to large and really do need a whole structural termite fumigation. The only way to determine this would be to contact us for a FREE consultation!