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What are Drywood Termites?

A termite infestation is a worry for many property owners. Although not harmful to people, these small insects colonize and feed on structural components such as wood, plastic, and wood, and drywall, and can create substantial damage inside walls, around doors and windows, and to the overall structure of home or commercial property.

Termites are found around the world, and from fossil records, termites have crawled the earth for millions of years, so it’s highly unlikely this group of insects is leaving anytime soon. But, you can help protect your home or business property from these insects when you can identify the different types of termites and know what the signs of a potential termite problem can look like. One particular termite that causes destruction to a wood source is the drywood termite.

How to Identify Drywood Termites?

Of the scientific genus Cryptotermes, Drywood termites are considered social insects and form above ground colonies. Because these insects get the moisture they need from digested wood, these types of termites do not require contact with soil for moisture and typically nest above ground within dry wood, such as wooden siding, attic, or shingles.

Fortunately, the New England area is spared from this species of termites and we can find these destructive insects along the warmer, southern states, such as North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. However, drywood termites can travel north via shipments containing infested wood products, such as lumber and furniture. Luckily, drywood termite colonies are localized, and rarely spread from the infested wood source.

As with other termite species, such as dampwood and subterranean, the worker drywood termites look alike. However, the specific features of the soldier termites and reproductives, also known as swarmers, help identify a drywood termite from a different species. These features can help you identify a drywood termite.

  • Reproductive Drywood Termites: Light yellow with transparent, uncolored wings, approximately 7/16 inches long, and makes up most of the population within the colony, swarming may occur during daylight, dusk, or night.
  • Soldier Drywood Termites: Darkened, square shaped head with strong mandibles, 5/16 inches long, and make up roughly 1-2 percent of the population in the colony.
  • Worker Drywood Termites: White bodies and measure smaller than soldier drywood termites.

Signs of a Drywood Termite Infestation

Compared to other termite species, drywood termite colonies are smaller in numbers, develop more slowly, and tend to stay localized in one area of the home. Environmental conditions, such as rainfall, frequently changing atmospheric pressure, and/or falling prey to other predators make it more difficult for a drywood termite infestation to develop. It can take several years for a drywood termite colony to mature. And, once a colony is established, it can take time for structural signs to emerge. This is because drywood termites live within the wood and plug holes.

One of the most common signs indicating a drywood termite infestation is a collection of fecal pellets under the affected wood. Sometimes mistaken for sawdust, the fecal pellets are generally pointed at one end and flat on the other and the color of the food source. Other indicators include swarming, winged reproductives, kick out holes, and a collection of discarded wings.

How to Treat a Drywood Termite Infestation

Termite infestation can be difficult to treat and a drywood termite infestation is no exception. It can be difficult for property owners to inspect and detect drywood termites. Additionally, homeowners may struggle to obtain access to effective treatment methods. As a result, professional treatment and management is highly recommended to treat any termite infestation, including drywood termites. For properties with an existing infestation, a professional whole structure fumigant or heat treatment can kill and treat hidden areas. Smaller or localized infestations may only require a spot wood treatment, such as foams or aerosol or liquid dust.

Professional Termite Inspection

Are you concerned about a termite infestation in your home or commercial property? We offer same day pest control service in Connecticut, southern New York, Rhode Island, and western Massachusetts. While drywood termites may not infiltrate your New England property, other termites might. For example, subterranean termites are more common in New England. These termites nest underground can pose a threat to the structure of your property.

Family owned and operated for 35 years, our licensed termite removal technicians eliminate and control termites with effective extermination treatment options and can provide you with a no-obligation free estimate.

To learn more and schedule an appointment for your home or commercial property, give us a call at (866) 601-5357 for a professional and courteous property assessment. Available 24 hours a day, we can help protect your home from the devastating effects of termites.