Drywood Termite Habits & Behavior
Unlike subterranean termite species, drywood termite colonies do not have a worker caste — immature termites do the work before they reach adulthood. Living in colonies of up to 2,700 members, these termites are often capable of causing major damage long before they are discovered.
Larger than most other termite species, drywood termite soldiers can be detected by their large mandibles, which are often wider than their head.
Do Drywood Termites Make Mud Tubes?
Since drywood termites require zero contact with the ground to build thriving colonies, they do not dig mud tubes like other species of termites. Known for eating against the grain, drywood termites leave behind erratic, smooth galleries that seldom follow the grain of the wood.
When Do Drywood Termites Swarm?
Drywood termites typically swarm during the late summer or fall months, from August through November. Swarms of drywood termites will fly to new homes and buildings in search of wood to infest. They have the ability to cause significant structural damage within months of colonization. Drywood termites also create “kick-out” holes to push their excrement through the wood — leaving behind mounds that resemble sawdust or fine grains of sand.
How to Prevent Drywood Termites
Drywood termites can be avoided by making sure firewood and scrap wood is stored at least 20 feet from homes and structures. Because drywood termites form new colonies by gaining access to wood through small holes, seal all cracks and crevices in a structure.
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Signs of a Drywood Termite Infestation
Signs of a mature termite infestation include swarms of winged male and female termites (particularly in warm, rainy weather), which reproduce and fly off to create new colonies. Other signs include mounds of their distinctive, sand-like fecal pellets known as frass, which can indicate an active termite colony. If you notice any of these signs around your home or property, seek a professional termite inspection immediately. To schedule a home inspection, contact us using the form below.