WESTERN DRYWOOD TERMITE
The western drywood termite is found throughout the Bay Area. Their name comes from the fact they survive in wood that has less than 12% moisture content. They do not have forage tubes like subterranean termites and can have multiple colonies within a structure. They can be found from the subarea to the attic.
Drywood termites lack a true caste system. Workers are immature stages of the colony. Workers are white to beige in color and range from 1/4 to 3/8 inches. They gather food, expand the colony, care for the queen and all younger immature stages.
The soldiers are the defenders of the colony. They body color is the same as the workers and their heads are brownish in color and have large black manabiles. They are 5/16 inches and their primary enemy is ants.
It takes up to seven years for the colony to reach maturity. At this stage swarmers are produced. These are mature workers that grow wings.
They are 7/16 to 1/2 inches including wings. Their color is dark to light reddish brown and their wing are a smoky grey. In the Bay Area they swarm on sunny days in the fall.
Only a small number will survive their flight. Most will become food for insect predators like birds, spiders and ants.
Most people only find the evidence of drywood termites. Mainly their fecale pellets. The best way to describe them is small bun shaped pellets that are gritty to the touch and look like salt and pepper.
These pellets are ejected out of kick holes. Small holes in the wood or through the sheetrock.
Pellets can be found anywhere in a structure along with the fence and even in dead knot holes in living trees.
Drywood termites make smooth galleries along the grain of the wood. Even though drywood termite colonies usually have less than 500 individuals, left alone they can reach up to 3,000 individuals with multiple queens and cause major structural damage.
Once drywood termites are discovered the primary recommendation is to fumigate the structure. Since pellets can be kicked out into inaccessible areas, it can years before pellets are found and there can be multiple colonies in the structure. It is the only way to make sure there are no other colonies within the structure.
Should the evidence be localized or fumigation not practical, local treatments can be performed. There are several methods for local treatment for drywood termites. This company only uses chemical methods. We use chemical foams, wood injections and topical wood treatments to control the infestation.back to the top