About Drywood Termites
Identifying Drywood Termites:
- Inspection should be completed by a licensed pest control operator
- Discovery of droppings inside
- Discovery of wings inside
- Presence outside is a natural phenomenon and is not an indication of home infestation
Signs of a Drywood Termite infestation
Drywood Termite Damage
Facts About Drywood Termites:
- Belong to Kalotermitidae family
- Soldiers and the alates are the only types of termites that can be accurately identified.
- Drywoods are easier to control than subterranean because drywood termite infestations are limited to a single piece of wood or wood item.
- Colonies can contain up to about 2,000 termites
- Colony development is slow but severe structural damage may be caused by multiple colonies
- Severe damage may be caused by multiple colonies
- Most colonies remain small but multiple colonies can be in the same piece of wood which may contain up to 10,000 individuals.
- Colonies grow through the queen’s increased egg production and the accumulation of long-lived individuals
- After 3-4 years, colonies may consist of up to 1,000 members
- After about 10-15 years, colony members can be over 3,000!
- Infest wooden framing and studs of homes
- The first swarm is after the colony is approximately four years old
- Have alates class – flying termites
- Vary in body color from dark brown to light yellowish tan
- Wings are clear to smoke gray and have distinctive veins
- Swarms occur due to environmental conditions
- Swarmers usually number in the dozens, occasionally hundreds
- • The number will be proportionate to the age and the size of the current colony
- Fly in high numbers from mature colonies at certain times of the year
- In a swarm, the alates find mates and search for dead wood to start another colony
- Only a small number of swarmers survive to develop colonies
- Swarmers enter through small cracks or exposed end grain
- A very small nest develops after the pair has mated
- These are the new king and queen
- Immatures will hatch within several weeks and then shortly after, they assume the role of the workers
- As the queen matures, she will be able to lay more eggs
- The new colony will stabilize when a queen reaches maximum egg production
- Colonies are started in dead wood in which there isn’t a water source
- Drywood termites but either get water though extracting water from which they feed or from their environment
- They have the ability to produce water internally during the digestive process
- Live in wood with less than 12% of moisture (hence the name drywood termite)
- Termites can be distributed by people who move infested furniture or infested wood.
- On occasion, new wood material is installed with termites already infesting.
- Drywoods live within their food
- Eat across the wood grain and create chambers connected by tunnels
- Tunnels are smooth with the presence of fecal pellets
- Live within their food source
- Make kick out holes so they can remove their waste
- • Pellets are hard, elongate oval with rounded ends
- • Six concave sides
- • Homeowners usually notice the pilings of the waste under the kick out holes
- Homeowner should pay particular attention to windows, door frames, and moldings on the interior
- On the exterior, any areas that have chipped paint, cracks and seams, or areas that have a high concentration of moisture.
- Denying termites access to wood
- Remove all potential sources of outdoor infestation
- Stored lumber
- Scrap lumber
- Dead trees
- Woody shrubbery
- Before painting, seal any cracks, crevices and joints with wood putty.
Alabama A&M & Auburn Universities – Journal #ANR1170