Is There Any Way To Prevent Drywood Termites From Infesting Homes?

A total of six subterranean termite species have been found in the state of Louisiana, and all of these species inflict structural damage within the state. One subterranean species, R. tibialis, was collected from Lake Charles a few years ago, and since then, the species has likely spread to other areas of the state. Pest control strategies aim to prevent infestations from occurring, and this is certainly the case when it comes to termite pests, as termiticide and physical barriers effectively prevent subterranean termites from secretly tunneling into properties. However, preventing drywood termite infestations in structures is not so easy, as drywood termites do not dwell within soil; instead, drywood termites infest houses while swarming, which allows the pests to infest wood located everywhere from a home’s shingles to the base of a home’s timber frame. Unless a house is located under a dome, no type of soil barrier can prevent swarming drywood termites (alates) from making contact with a house. This does not mean that homeowners do not have any options when it comes to preventative control methods for drywood termites, as structural wood can be treated with repellent chemicals, and pressure-treated wood can repel termites for a period of time.

Four drywood termite pest species have been documented in Louisiana. These species include southeastern drywood termites, west Indian powderpost termites, western drywood termites, and the dark southern drywood termite. Wood preservatives and pressure-treated woods are sometimes used to build homes in Louisiana, but some drywood termites are more repelled by treated woods than others. The amount of repellent chemicals applied to wood and how deeply these chemicals absorb into wood influences the wood’s susceptibility to termite damage. Rainfall can also cause wood preservative chemicals to run off over time, making the wood vulnerable to termite attacks. Several field studies have been done concerning how well drywood termites are repelled by numerous different wood treatments. However, this testing is still in its infancy, and not all drywood termite species in Louisiana have been subjected to these field tests.

Does your home contain chemically treated or pressure treated wood?


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