The Drywood Termite

 

Drywood Termite_Cryptotermes_brevis

West Indian drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis WALKER, Isoptera) by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Termites are dangerous wood-eaters that heavily damage our wooden structures. It is estimated that every year termites cause property damage of $5 billion. The drywood termite is one of the several termite species that exist in the world. 

Familiarity with this species will aid you in keeping them away from your home. Let’s discuss the appearance of drywood termites, reasons for their entry to the home and the methods to get rid of them. 

HOW TO IDENTIFY DRYWOOD TERMITES


Appearance

Unlike many other types of termites, the drywood termites have protruding mouth pinchers which help them to create holes in tough and dry wood. They vary in size from a 1/4 inch to 3/8 of an inch long, depending on their age. Soldier termites have small teeth in their mouth.

They have a straight antenna and their waist is quite thick. Their legs are very short while few of the species have wings. Furthermore, the color of these termites varies and depends on their size and role in the colony. 

The worker termites are cream-colored, while the soldiers are brown. The reproductive ones or the queens are usually brown or black in color.

Behavior

As the name points out, drywood termites prefer dry conditions for their survival and don’t depend on moisture for their existence. They just extract a small quantity of water from the wood they live in and their digestive system produces the essential water for them. 

Moreover, they don’t need contact with soil to build nests and thrive. They don’t live underground or build mud tubes outside.

Signs

The presence of drywood termites in your house is not easy to notice because they live inside wood and leave no signs outside. Drywood termite infestation can go unnoticed for up to seven years, and you will only notice signs of their presence when they have completely damaged the structure.

Drywood termite swarmers fly outside, and if you spot them, it’s an indication of infestation. Spotting termite droppings, or frass, is another way you can detect their presence. 

If you sense termite infestation, then simply tap the wooden structure, furniture, etc., and if there is a hollow sound, then it clearly points toward the presence of drywood termites.

HOW DO YOU GET DRYWOOD TERMITES


western drywood termite (Incisitermes minor)

Western drywood termite (Incisitermes minor) by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Drywood termites directly enter your house. During the flight, swarmers can come across your outer wooden structures, like window panes, doors and stairs.

Once they enter they can infest other wooden structures, usually furniture and closets.

Infested lumbar, wooden products or second-hand furniture are also sources behind inviting these termites to your home.


HOW TO GET RID OF DRYWOOD TERMITES


As our furniture or any other wood-based item in our homes are very important and dear to us, it is important to exterminate termites. The following are few ways to control or get rid of termites.

Get rid of dead wood:

First, try to remove excess dry wood and dead wood in your home, as it’s the favorite habitat of drywood termites. They prefer to nest in them. Furthermore, make sure that you store the firewood away from your house’s foundation.

Treat raw wood:

To prevent raw wood from drywood infestation, treat it with Bora-Care. This will protect the wood from termites by killing them.

Insecticides:

Termites can’t be removed from a structure without the proper application of insecticides. Get help from professional exterminators and treat your infested wood.


Drywood Termite Facts


  • Drywood termites can eat away anything made up of plants, including plastic, wallpaper and fabric.
  • Cedar wood can be used to kill termites.
  • The droppings of these termites appear as sawdust to the naked eye.
  • They exist in warm and dry climatic conditions.
  • These are social termites and live in colonies.