Drywood termites’ appetite for wood is legendary. Equally as devastating is the reality that drywood termites are as silent as they are destructive. Without regular home inspections and preventative measures to thwart these destructive insects, every piece of wood in your home is potentially a target. 

The following is all you need to know about drywood termites, including what to do if you discover you have them. 

What Are Drywood Termites?

Drywood termites are a species that live directly in the wood they munch on, and the wood they prefer is just about every type of wood conceivable. Potential targets include structural timber, wooden furniture, picture frames, bookshelves, firewood, and dead trees.

Drywood termites thrive in low humidity and high temperatures, which makes them common in the American southwest and Texas. While not common, they can also be found in the Midwest and throughout the south, including Florida. 

The tricky thing about drywood termites is that they are silent and largely untraceable until you have a problem. So if you suspect any wood in your home has drywood termites, you should get it inspected and treated as soon as possible to prevent a potential infestation from spreading. 

What Do Drywood Termites Look Like?

An adult drywood termite will grow to about an inch long. Younger termites range from a quarter inch to one inch. Compared to subterranean termites, drywood termites tend to be thicker and larger.

Adult termites have an oval-shaped waist, short legs, and straight antennae. They also have wings that are equal in length and range in color from cream-white to light brown. Each termite has large mandibles and teeth and a pronotum that is wider than its head. 

How To Tell if You Have Drywood Termites

termite swarmers on a white wall

The most common signs of a drywood termite residency are swarms of insects and discarded wings. You can usually find these near lights as drywood termites are particularly attracted to light sources. Another sign is their droppings, mounds of tiny pellets called frass.

Because they do not leave a huge mess, it can be tricky to realize you have an infestation. Regular inspections are essential if you live in an area known to have them. 

Are Drywood Termites a Threat?

Anything you have that is made of or contains cellulose is potentially a victim of the drywood termite. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Beams
  • Joists
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Picture frames
  • Banisters
  • Furniture

Each year, drywood termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage. If you are not on top of these insects, they can cost you thousands in repairs. Worse, this type of damage usually is not covered by insurance.

Drywood Termites FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions about drywood termites.

Do Drywood Termites Make Mud Tubes?

Drywood termites do not build ground-based homes and so do not dig any mud tubes. Instead, they are known for creating smooth, against-the-grain tunnels in wood. Besides wings and swarming, drywood termites will leave mounds of sawdust-looking excrement by their homes.

When Do Drywood Termites Swarm?

In most of the places they live, drywood termites will swarm at some point during late summer through the fall. When they swarm, they will fly to a new location to infest. Once they have found a place to live, drywood termites will eat their way through the wood and create “kick-out” holes, pushing excrement through. 

How To Get Rid of Drywood Termites

a pest specialist doing termite treatment

The easiest way for a drywood termite to access your home is through another wooden object brought into the house. They will look for crevices to burrow into, so ensure that all cracks or crevices are sealed. If you suspect you have an infestation or that a colony has been introduced to your home, look for piles of excrement near wood objects or structures.

Finding a pile of excrement should prompt you to take action, as one colony can quickly become an infestation. Having annual inspections is vital to keeping them at bay. If you have an infestation, a licensed pet control professional is your best bet to rid yourself of a drywood termite infestation.

Got Drywood Termites? We Can Help!

Drywood termites are nothing to take for granted. If you ignore even a small problem, it will very quickly grow into an outright infestation. Finding even one pile or excrement or seeing one swarm is reason enough to get a professional on the scene to help you fight off the threat.

If you suspect an infestation, you need the professionalism and expertise of the licensed pest control specialists at Stampede Pest Control. Call today for an inspection and estimate on the best way to rid yourself of the drywood termite menace.