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All termite species belong to one of three groups known as subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites. Dampwood termites cause the least amount of damage to structural wood in homes, as they only infest weathered wood that is heavily saturated with moisture. The habitat range of drywood termite species is limited to the southern states, and they are most problematic in the southwest where the highly destructive western drywood termite is most abundant. Unlike drywood and dampwood termites that live in relatively small colonies contained entirely within single pieces of above-ground wood, subterranean termites live in massive colonies located beneath the ground where workers tunnel through soil in search of food sources.

Subterranean termites are responsible for 80 percent of all termite-related structural damage reported in the US each year. The eastern subterranean termite (R. flavipes) is the most economically significant termite pest species in the country, and it’s the only termite species found in Massachusetts. Subterranean termite infestations occur when foraging workers infest structural wood in homes from the ground up, and this is why headers, footers, beams, girders, studs, joists, trusses and other substructural wood members are the most frequently damaged lumber components within homes.

Subterranean termite workers often gain access to wood that is located within concealed spaces like wall voids where pest control professionals are unable to apply liquid termiticides. In such cases, pest control professionals may inject foam termiticide into wall voids. Foam termiticide treatments usually supplement other other types of termite treatments, but some homeowners select foam as a substitute for liquid termiticides, as foam will not absorb into the ground, and therefore, is considered more environmentally friendly. When foam termiticide is injected into concealed spaces, the foam expands laterally and vertically at and above the ground surface to reach areas that cannot be accessed by pest control professionals. The foam rapidly breaks down, leaving behind residual termiticide on the interior surfaces of inaccessible spaces, which provides a lasting above-ground barrier to subterranean termite workers. Foam is especially ideal for treating old houses that have settled and left gaps that workers can exploit to access structural wood in wall voids.

Would you prefer to have your home treated with foam termiticide?