Drywood Termites

Pest Guide for Drywood Termites

While homes and businesses can be infested with either drywood termites or subterranean termites, there is a major difference between the two. While subterranean and Formosan subterranean termites live underground, drywood termites actually live inside of the wood that they eat. This means our termite control company needs to determine which kind is present we decide on a termite treatment.

History

There are several species of drywood termite. While some are native to Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, and Thailand, others are native to Australia. The most popular, however, were discovered in Jamaica in the 1850s. After the discovery, they spread to all of the West Indies islands and were likely introduced to North America via wooden ships carrying goods. They were first found in the Florida Keys in the early 1900s and since then, have made their home in southern states like Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Behavior

Drywood termites infest sound, solid hardwoods and softwoods (which include the building wood used in homes and offices). Instead of burrowing their way to their food source like subterranean termites, drywood termites simply live inside it – sometimes in more than one colony. Because they’re small, they can also infest smaller items like headboards, cabinets, furniture, and even picture frames. While they mainly stick to wood in their diet, drywood termites can occasionally feed on other cellulose-rich materials like cardboard or paper.

When it comes to colonization, drywood termites move much more slowly than subterranean termites. This means an entire colony may take five years or more to mature (as opposed to two to four). The number of drywood termites in each colony is also different – many have just a few thousand instead of up to several million. Even though these termites aren’t as large or as rapid-spreading as the subterranean species, they can still do a significant amount of damage and should be eliminated as soon as possible.

Signs of a Drywood Infestation

Because drywood termite damage is different than subterranean termite damage, they’re usually not as easy to detect. The most obvious sign of an infestation is the discovery of the termites themselves. Otherwise, look for these indicators:

  • Fecal matter
  • Shed wings
  • Hollow-sounding walls
  • Bubbling or peeling paint

Treatment

Since drywood termites live inside of the wood they’re feeding on, their treatment is much different than the treatment for subterranean termites. If you believe you have an infestation in your home or office, contact our pest control company as soon as possible. We’ll inspect your building and if we find that you do have an infestation, we’ll begin a termite control treatment immediately to eliminate your problem once and for all.

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