Look for signs of drywood termites


July 14, 2020

Dale Dubberly, Stewardship Technical Advisor, East Coast, Ensystex

Dale Dubberly, Stewardship Technical Advisor, East Coast, Ensystex

On the East Coast, drywood termite (Kalotermitidae) season typically occurs in late spring and summer. On the West Coast, swarming season is usually in the fall or early winter. Regardless of location, though, there is a common misconception among consumers that termite damage is immediate and catastrophic. As professionals, we know that is not the case.

Typical signs of a drywood infestation include the presence of winged adults, best known as “swarmers,” detached wings, ejected pellets and galleries found inside the wood. Sometimes swarming ants are confused with drywood termites, but the differences can be easily recognized.

As their name suggests, these termites infest dry wood and do not require contact with the soil. Signs of infestations by drywood termites and control measures differ drastically from subterranean termites. Drywood termites occur in small colonies in isolated wood pieces, and multiple colonies can infest a structure simultaneously. They remain hidden within the wood or other material on which they feed, so they are seldom seen. Fecal pellets are ejected periodically, while swarmers fly from colonized wood. Fumigation is the traditional control method for this pest.

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