Some Termites Thrive Even in Dry Conditions
John Gleason is right when he talks about moisture causing rot (Letters, Feb. 14). However, he also stated that “when wood stays dry and well ventilated, it doesn’t rot, and termites don’t do any damage to it, even if they are present.”
What he fails to understand is that we have in the Southern California area a termite called the dry-wood termite, which does not need moisture to damage wood.
This termite does not live in the soil but always lives in dry wood, except during its swarming season. This is the species for which fumigation or tenting was developed in order to control or eliminate it.
Mr. Gleason talked about finding live termites in the framing of a stall shower after the wall had been opened for repair. These termites were in all likelihood subterranean termites that live in the ground and travel back and forth from the ground to the wood framing to feed.
He stated that the house had recently been tented or fumigated. Fumigation will not control this type of termite. It was never intended to do that. This termite must be controlled by eliminating any earth-wood contact and/or by applying termiticides to the soil to prevent it from entering. These termites also prefer moist conditions.
HERBERT W. PENCILLE
The writer is a structural pest control operator.