Important Differences Between The Powderpost Drywood Termite And The Western Drywood Termite That Every Homeowner Should Be Aware Of

Incisitermes minor, commonly known as the “western drywood termite,” is an insect pest species that is native to the southwestern US, and it is the most economically devastating drywood termite pest in the US. This drywood termite species is not native to Louisiana, and it was first discovered in the state during the early summer of 1998 when soldiers and reproductive swarmers (alates) were recovered from fallen tree limbs in New Orleans.

In its native southwestern range, the western drywood termite is notable for infesting a wide range of dead tree species, and for readily establishing aggressive infestations within a number of structural wood sources in homes, as well as finished wood components of furniture. This species non-native habitat in Louisiana was initially assumed to be limited to small pockets of New Orleans, but a 2001 survey revealed that western drywood termites are widely established throughout the state. Western drywood termite infestations are relatively common in New Orleans and other urban and suburban areas in the southern half of Louisiana where colonies are often found in dead trees, furniture and structural lumber within homes.

Much like the western drywood termite, Cryptotermes brevis, or the “powderpost drywood termite,” is a non-native species in Louisiana that is most abundant in New Orleans, but can be found throughout the state. Unlike western drywood termites, the powderpost drywood termite, is never found nesting within trees or any wood source within the natural environment; instead, this species only infests structural lumber and furniture. The powderpost drywood termite and the dark southeastern drywood termite (I. snyderi) are the two most economically damaging drywood termite species in Louisiana.

Both the western and powderpost drywood termite species are common pests of structures in Louisiana, particularly in urban and suburban areas in the southern half of the state, but these two species swarm at different times of year. In their native habitat, western drywood termite alates take flight throughout the mid summer and winter seasons, but in Louisiana, alates usually emerge to establish new colonies within natural and processed wood sources throughout the early spring to mid-summer seasons during the day. However, alates of this species are sometimes found swarming during the fall and winter seasons in Louisiana as well, and infestations are commonly found in furniture, door frames and window sills. Powderpost drywood termite alates generally take flight from May to June, and since their infestations are not usually as extensive as western drywood termite infestations, spot treatments are often sufficient for eradicating their infestations, as opposed to whole-structure fumigations.

Do you have your home inspected for termite pest damage annually?




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