In the United States, we have three types of termites: Subterranean, drywood, and dampwood termites. And we have all three in our service area. Today we're going to focus on drywood termites. Here are seven things every Bay Area property owner needs to know about these termites.

termites on paper towel
termites in pantry

1. Drywood termites are the second most destructive termites in the state.

Of the three types of termites we have in the Bay Area, drywood termites fall in the center in terms of their ability to damage structures. Subterranean termites are the most destructive because they are so sneaky. Subterranean worker termites come up from the ground and feed on the inside of wood without ever revealing themselves. It is usually only after damage is significant that these termites are discovered. Damage done by drywood and dampwood termites can be more obvious. While drywood termites are seldom seen, the fecal pellets they push out of their tunnels can be detected on surfaces. The droppings of dampwood termites usually remain inside their tunnels. These termites also have a harder time establishing themselves inside man-made structures. They require wood that is damp. A property owner can have success eliminating a dampwood infestation by addressing moisture problems. This is not the case with drywood termites. Drywood termites can infest dry, sound, hardwood.

2. Drywood termites nest inside wood.

This is an important fact to understand. Location is important. Most subterranean termite species create their nests in the ground, and it takes time for the workers to go back and forth from their nest. Drywood termites create a nest inside the wood they are feeding on. This can allow drywood termites to damage wood faster. If you detect drywood termites in your property, don't waste any time contacting a licensed termite control professional.

3. The fecal pellets of drywood termites can help with detection.

Drywood termites produce hard, dry droppings. These pellets are about the size of a grain of pepper. You're likely to find them in window sills or near gaps, cracks, and holes. These pellets are a helpful warning sign.

4. Drywood termites can damage your stuff.

Since drywood termites feed on drywood, they can damage wood furniture, toys, and other wooden objects in your home. Subterranean and dampwood termites are far less likely to damage your belongings. Drywood termite can also be found attacking banisters, baseboards, crown molding, and other building structures.

5. Drywood termite colonies are usually small.

Colony sizes tend to be much smaller for drywood termites. A typical colony will have fewer than a thousand termites. Subterranean termites can have hundreds of thousands. So, while subterranean termites might take more time going in and out of your property, their sheer numbers make them a force to be reckoned with. But don't underestimate drywood termites. You can have more than one colony in your home.

6. Drywood termite swarmers are a warning sign.

When a colony matures, it begins to produce male and female alates. These winged termites are called swarmers because they gather together in a swarm to mate. After the mating process, they shed their wings and get busy establishing a nest. If you see swarmers in your home, or climbing around on the outside of your home, it is a warning sign of an infestation.

7. Sometimes wings are all you'll see.

If you have a mature infestation in your home, and swarmers are released, you might not see them. Swarms don't last for more than about thirty minutes. These insects can swarm, mate, and disappear in the time it takes you to run to the grocery store. The only warning sign you might get is the appearance of tiny white wings. You're likely to find these on window sills inside your home as swarmers are attracted to the light outside. You may also find them on outside window sills if a swarm occurs at night.

What should you do about drywood termites?

If you see warning signs of drywood termite activity, contact Bay Pest. Our licensed pest control professionals use industry-leading products and methods to stop termite infestations and protect homes from damage. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.


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