Drywood Termites – Identification, Damage & Treatments

There are several types of termites throughout the United States, however, there are specific types that are found in various regions of the country to help identify drywood termites. They are found in warm weather, southern and southwestern states. They feed off of dry wood along with dry plants and furniture. They can infest dead trees located near water and they do not need soil to develop a colony.

Drywood termites can be found feeding on wood in attics and inside walls where they were able to find their way in through a crack, hole, or any type of opening in your home. Other types of termites include dampwood termites who also don’t need soil to grow like other termites, but they prefer humid and cool areas with soft dampened wood. Subterranean termites need soil to develop a colony and can be found in southern states.

Identify Drywood Termites

They are 1mm long and absorb moisture from their feces called frass. Typically you can locate where these termites are living by a pile of feces on the ground or on the floor in your home. They are shaped like a hexagon and as the feces is kicked out of their growing colony you will notice a pile getting larger. Other distinct appearance is that they have two sets of wings, making them have four wings total and they are tan and brown. They have a rectangular shaped head and large mouths with teeth.

It can be difficult to know that you have drywood termites if you don’t see them or notice any pile of feces. There can be evidence of detached wings and tiny kicked out holes in the walls. They can do a lot of damage before you know that you have a problem happening in your home. It is highly recommended to have an annual inspection for termites to prevent or remove drywood termites.

Choosing a Treatment Method

Decide on a spot treatment or a whole structure treatment. When you select a spot treatment you are targeting one area where you know the termites infest. A whole structure treatment tends to be more effective overall. Then decide on the type of treatment you will explore whether it is chemical or heating. 

  • With sufluryl fluoride you can treat and kill the drywood termites within days.
  • Monitored fumigation is a process where gas lines are installed inside the structure of the home,  generating a fumigation that kills most termites. Monitored fumigation has the highest success rate.
  • With a non-monitored fumigation process you may run out of gas that will not end up killing all of the termites. You can use a foam, liquid or dust methods to fumigate throughout the structure of your home.

Another types of treatment method is the heating process that is non-chemical. It heats up the entire structure to a minimum of 120 degrees and higher and holds the temperature for at least 30 minutes. This process takes less time than fumigation, but it tends to be less successful than chemical treatment because the heat tends to not reach everywhere in the structure where there are parts of hidden areas to the structure and the heating device cannot send enough heat to reach it.

Therefore, termites can hide in these specific locations to not be killed off.  Fumigations affect termites long term, with 99 percent of the termite colony killed off and just leave. You will need to evacuate the premises when fumigating for several days and you will need to take your pets and plants with you.

When using a heating process you will need to leave with the pets and put the plants outside temporarily. You will leave for about 30 minutes or a few hours. Keep in mind that any type of treatment should be performed by a professional or termite expert as you need to know what you’re doing before trying to remove these termites.

Have an Expert Treat Your Home

Select at least three different companies that offer such treatments and have them give you instructions and estimations on how much they would charge. Research their reputation and you can ask for referrals. If you do not select a highly qualified company and they happen to perform the treatment incorrectly, you are not only out of money but you are going to be a bad situation. More damage can be caused to your home and you can end up paying thousands to properly fix the structure of your home.

Be sure to follow these steps:

  • Identify that you have an infestation of drywood termites.
  • Choose a treatment method.
  • Decide on a spot treatment or whole treatment.
  • Make a decision on long term effects.
  • Call upon an expert to fumigate or heat out the drywood termites.


About the Author

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and attempt to share everything I learn at NeverPest.com to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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