How are drywood termites detected?

What can a homeowner do?

Drywood termites live in small colonies within the timbers of your house. They stay inside the timber except when taking out the trash or when the kids leave. The trash is made up of little pellets of poo (frass) which look a lot like pepper. When they have too much of it in the nest, they’ll open up a little hole to the surface and dump it out. If you see little piles of peppery stuff that reappear after you remove them, then you probably have drywood termites. (Ant frass is unevenly sized with obvious dead bits in it)  Every so often, the colony kicks out a lot of young adults. These winged (alate) termites attempt to fly off, find a mate and start a new colony. If released inside, they are very hard to miss. That’s the two main ways you’re likely to find them: poo and flyers.

A specialist termite inspector will do a slow and complete inspection, looking and using tools to try and find all these little colonies. It is a very tough job and the risk of missing the deeply hidden or just very small groups of drywood termites are quite high, almost certain in some situations. It is important that your inspector has good access to the whole of the house and has enough time to do the job properly. Have people available to move furniture and items as required.

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