- 5 years for subterranean and drywood termites.
Drywood termites infest directly and do not need contact with the ground to survive. Infestation is usually noticed with "frass" or fecal pellets which begin to appear 2-4 years after infestation. After approximately 5 years of infestation the colony will begin to produce reproductives which will swarm and infest adjacent wood. Infestation is normally not discovered for 5-10 years making local treatment a constant battle.
Drywood termites nest above ground and feed on any dead wood. The milder coastal climates support drywoods best. However, they are also found in inland areas. Colonies are small in comparison to subterranean termites and usually average 2,500 termites in a well established colony. Significant damage will normally take 10-20 years. Damage is often noticed in door frames, windowsills, and siding.
FUMIGATION: Fumigation involves placing a vinyl coated tarp over the structure and containing a lethal gas to eliminate the drywood termite colonies. As indicated above, identifying all colonies is nearly impossible. Fumigation is the only complete structure treatment with proven success. Fumigation is still, dollar for dollar, the best value
LOCAL TREATMENT: When fumigation is not possible or practical, the best alternative is Termidor injection to galleries.Â This requires monitoring on an annual basis and finished drywall, tile, or siding may need to be removed to access infested framing.
ALTERNATIVE METHODS: Locating all colonies can be impossible, making alternative methods substandard. There are some promising methods, like heat. However, when infestations are close to the foundation, control becomes impaired. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.