Termites Guide

How long does it take to establish a termite colony?

A reader e-mailed in this question:

"i had some 2 X 4's delivered from the lumber yard two weeks ago. termites are coming out of them. they have no wings and are big but i have noticed lots flying around. i want to make sure that the termites could not have burrowed into the wood in 2 weeks before i call the lumber yard."
Termites could not have created a colony in that wood in just two weeks. That's not long enough for them to build one or reproduce enough termites to get to the point where they have flying termites.

The flying ones are reproductives, which come only from established colonies. What you probably have are drywood termites, which will create small colonies in wood and can easily be transported somewhere else by people moving the wood around. If the wood is infested, it had to have happened before it got to you. I wouldn't use any of the wood, and would get it away from your property.

Basic Info About Termites

How to Inspect for Termites

Termite Pictures

Ways to Protect Your House

Liquid Treatments

Bait Treatments

Borate Treatments


Flying termites can move up to 2,000 feet or so before starting a new colony, so if they are anywhere near your house it's at risk. I would try to get a refund and get new wood that isn't infested.

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