When you think of termites, the insect that probably comes to mind is the damp wood termite. These insects like to feed on wood that is damp and often beginning to rot. They are a huge nuisance in some areas, but they are not the only kind of termite that exists. Drywood termites, another type of termite, are also a concern. Since these termites are happy to feed on dry, intact wood, simply keeping your home dry won't keep them at bay. There are, however, some pest control measures you can take to keep them away.
Treat your wood.
There are concentrated wood treatment products that contain insecticides. These products, which you can brush on, are great at repelling all sorts of insects, from drywood termites to carpenter ants. Generally, you need to apply the product annually. Make sure you apply the product when the wood is dry. Make a note on your calendar when you apply the product so you can apply it again one year later. You can treat fences, wooden porches, decks, and even exposed wood in your attic with these products.
Don't bring raw wood into the home.
Often, drywood termites are introduced to the home when the homeowner brings raw, untreated wood inside. There are a few termites nestling in the wood, and they soon disperse, infesting and chewing other wood structures. Store your firewood outside, and only bring in what you need for a day at a time. When it is indoors, keep it far away from other wooden items, such as floors and dressers.
Keep windows closed during swarming periods.
Drywood termites go through a life stage during which they have wings. In this stage, they form large swarms and begin reproducing. You'll see them rising up from the ground in a cloud. Usually, the termites will swarm in late spring and again in fall. Keep your windows closed during this period, and make sure your screens are in good condition. This will help keep the termites from entering your home and beginning to chew on the wooden structures within. If you have a lot of cracks and gaps around your windows, look into having these fixed before swarming season returns.
Drywood termites don't care that the wood isn't moist — they'll eat it anyway. Follow the tips above to help keep them away from your home. Contact a termite control company at the first sign of an infestation.