Ecologically, dampwood termites are known to perform a very important role. Basically, these small creatures help break down dead wood and as such, they contribute to return useful nutrients and other components of the wood to the soil and the environment in general. However, when the same dampwood termites begin attacking houses and the other contemporary wooden buildings around, they become something of a nuisance. Dampwood termites are not essentially pests. However, it sometimes becomes more than necessary to undertake some serious termite control, which is more of a non-chemical treatment.
The identification of dampwood termites
Dampwood termites are not all of one kind. Technically, there exists several species of them and they are all very distinct in the way they survive. It also follows that there is no such thing as a general purpose treatment. Correct termite identification is absolutely essential before you even begin to attempt any sort of dampwood termite control. If you happen to be unsure about the type of damp wood termites you are dealing with, then what you can most probably do is catch a few of the termites in a jar and take it to an agent for identification.
Dampwood termites, as you can most probably already guess, thrive in wood rather high in moisture content so basically any condition which leads to moisture buildup in wood can encourage the infestation of dampwood termites. It is generally acknowledged that wood can become damp as a result of leaky pipes or poor structured gutters. Support beams are also to become damp as a result of poor ventilation. Dampwood termites, unlike the other contemporaries we know of, have a tendency to work their way upward from the foundation of a bulding to the roof rafters.
Detection and control
Though dampwood termites are hard to spot because of the way they blend with their surroundings, you can definitely detect termite activity if you know what you are looking for. First and foremost, you need to watch out for swarms which become most obvious in the evenings, especially after rain. You might also want to look for piles of sawdust or even signs of wood decay. Alternatively, you can decide to go for the big guns and employ electronic means to detect the presence of dampwood termites in your home.
To control dampwood termites, you hardly need to resort to a whole selection of chemicals unless infestation is really extensive and over-whelming. For effective, small-scale dampwood termite control, you only need to eliminate the very existence of moist wood from your home. Repair the leaky pipes you entertain around your home and make sure you keep your home well ventilated at all times. In addition, be sure that there is at least a foot between the wood portions of your house and the ground because as we saw above, dampwood termites work their up from the foundation of your home.