When it comes to bugs that can put a hurting on your Peoria, AZ home, dry wood termites just about top the list. Unlike damp wood and subterranean termites, dry wood termites don’t need moisture from their environment. That means they’re an even bigger threat to your home than other termite types because they can invade spaces no matter their moisture level. In this post, we’ll take a look at how to distinguish drywood termites from other termites, how to spot signs of infestation, and what to do if you already have a problem.

Drywood Termite Features

The workers of all three termite types look pretty similar to one another. It’s the alates (winged reproductive adults) that can help you tell what kind of termite you have. When a mature colony is ready to propagate itself, it sends out alates/swarmers to pair off, mate, and find satellite colonies. When these alates swarm, it will be virtually the only time you see termites out of their nests. If you see a swarm, take a look at the individual swarmers or the shed wings they leave behind. Drywood swarmers have a complex vein pattern in their wings, whereas subterranean alates only have one big vein running parallel to the top of each wing.

Excrement is another good way to tell dry wood termites apart. Subterranean termites leave behind droppings called “cartons” that resemble cardboard, while the “frass” ejected from dry wood termite nests look more like sawdust or tiny grains of sand. Possibly the best way to distinguish dry wood termites from other types of termites is where they nest. Subterranean termites nest in the ground, and damp wood termites can only nest in moist, decaying wood. That means if you find a termite nest in your wall studs, dry decking, etc., it’s almost certain to be a dry wood termite colony.

Signs Of Drywood Termite Infestation

Since dry wood termites do so much damage to your home, you’ll see a lot of signs once you have an established infestation. Termites are real homebodies, normally only leaving the nest to breed, so if you miss the swarm, you might notice the damage termites are causing before you ever notice them. Aside from swarms, other signs of dry wood termites include:

  • Frass (termite sawdust)
  • Shed wings from previous swarms
  • Kickout holes (pinholes in walls for ejecting waste)
  • Hollowed out or damaged wood components (e.g. decking, rails, stairs, etc.)
  • Other wood damage, including:
  • Warped door and window frames
  • Buckled floors
  • Sagging ceilings
  • Deformed walls

What To Do About Drywood Termite Infestations

Drywood termites can be harder to keep out than other types of termites, but there are a few things you can do:

  • Seal cracks and holes in your home’s exterior to eliminate termite access
  • Stain or paint wood to make it harder to drill into
  • Remove dead trees, mulch, firewood, etc. to reduce termite food sources

Unfortunately, since termites rarely leave their nests to do anything other than reproduce, you could have a termite problem for months or even years before you realize anything is wrong. This gives termites plenty of time to do extensive damage to your home. When you realize you have a dry wood termite problem, you might be tempted to deal with it alone, but because mature colonies propagate themselves at a high rate, it’s very tough for homeowners to kill termite infestations entirely. They usually get the most obvious nests, leaving the smaller ones to eventually grow and take the place of the larger ones.

Fortunately, help is just a click or call away. Here at Green Home Pest Control, our termite experts will work with you to develop a tailored, eco-friendly termite control plan to both eliminate your current infestation and prevent future ones. So give us a call at Green Home Pest Control at 480-696-5007 or visit our Get Started page to schedule your service today!


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