Drywood Termites

Drywood termites:

Scientific term: ‘Cryptotermes brevis’

Drywood termites closely resemble subterranean termites in size, color, and caste. However the main difference is the behavior patterns. Drywood alates will immediately shed their wings within minutes after swarming is complete. Once the new location for the colony is selected the reproductive termites will create a nest within the actual wood structure. The drywood species needs very little moisture to survive and does not require soil contact unlike subterranean termites.

Signs and Wood Damage:

Since drywood termites create their colonies within the wooden structure and do not build tunnels for travel, they can be harder to detect. However discarded wings and “kick out” fecal pellets provide conclusive evidence of a drywood infestation. Their fecal pellets, also known as frass, are a dry, hard, and six-sided shape. The pellets are pushed out of the tunnels within the colony resulting in a mound around the entry point. Unlike drywood, subterranean termites pellets are usually moist, smooth, with no specific shape that are incorporated within the mudtubes.

The damage from drywood termites can be seen in patterns against the grain or with the grain on the wood. They are capable of eating the hard parts of lumber unlike subterranean termites. The tunnels within the colony when observed are found to be smooth almost as if they were sandpapered.