Drywood Termite

Drywood Termite Facts & Control in Your Home or Business

In nature, drywood termites break down organic waste like stumps and fallen branches. Because they recycle decaying plants, these insects are an important part of the soil nutrient cycle. However, in homes, termites are troublesome because they chew on structural wood.

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Appearance

What Do Drywood Termites Look Like?

Drywood termites build nests inside moisture-stripped wood, so they may go unnoticed for long periods of time. Homeowners may see flying reproductives, called swarmers, during spring mating season. Along with the pests' shed wings, swarmers are often the only sign of infestation until damage is severe.

Termites resemble ants in many ways. However, unlike ants, they do not have pinched waists and their wings are equal in size. Drywood termite swarmers have brown bodies less than an inch long and yellow, brown, or black, veined wings. Soldiers are slightly smaller and light to medium brown, while workers are smallest and milky white in color.

Habits & Habitat

Where Do Drywood Termites Live?

Unlike the Subterranean species, drywood termites do not require contact with soil. They form their nests within wood and can enter homes by flying or crawling inside.

Because they feed on and tunnel inside dry timber, drywood termites prefer warm, humid climates that provide the moisture they need. Residents of southern states are the most likely to deal with this species. However, with modern heating, the wood-destroying pests infest year-round and may enter homes in cooler regions, as well.

Diet

What Do Drywood Termites Eat?

Termites feed on the cellulose in wood.

In nature, they eat:
  • Old trees
  • Exposed roots
  • Fallen limbs

Indoors, a drywood termite feeds on:
  • Structural beams
  • Fixtures
  • Organic products like cotton
  • Paper

Reproduction

The highly social insects develop large, organized colonies. As these nests mature, winged swarmers emerge and mate. Drywood termite queens then lay eggs, which hatch to form new colonies. Hatchlings may molt to take on several roles, including worker, soldier, or reproductive.

Problems Caused by Drywood Termites

What Problems Can Drywood Termites Cause?

Drywood termites feed on and infest wood. They build their nests and forage outward, eating across and along wood grains. They also create kick holes, which are small openings through which they dispose of feces.

Over time, this feeding behavior can compromise the structural integrity of wood, making professional control for homes a top priority. Contact Waltham Pest Services to deal with termite problems.

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