Most infestations are in buildings and furniture, although they can also occur in firewood and piles of lumber.
Be alert to weakened planks of wood in your house that may result from drywood termite damage. If you are buying secondhand or antique furniture, inspect items closely.
In addition to weakened wood, drywood termites make small holes from their nest from which they will drop small, hard fecal pellets. A pile of pellets beneath older furniture or lumber is often a sign of drywood termites.
Fumigation was usually the traditional recommended treatment for drywood termites, but new insecticides have given us new ways to treat them. Pesticides like Termidor and Tim-Bor can often be used depending on the location of the infestation. Our inspector can discuss all the possible methods with you.
How did you get Drywood Termites?
Every fall is swarming season for drywood termites:
Flying reproductive termites leave their existing nest (in a tree or a neghbors house) and fly to find a place to start a new nest.
When they find a suitable location, the male and female pair work their way into the wood chosen for the nest.
Entrance into your home is usually made from a crack or crevice which the termites can enter before boring into the wood. This may be a crack in the wood itself or may be the joint between two pieces of wood or even the space underneath roofing or sheathing paper.
The opening through which they enter the wood is sealed with a plug of brown cement-like material about 1/8-inch in diameter. Behind this plug they excavate a chamber where the queen lays the first eggs. The nymphs which hatch from these eggs perform the work of the colony. Soldiers and reproductives develop from these nymphs. There is no distinct worker caste as in subterranean termites.
During the next swarming seasons, the nymphs make round holes 1/16- to 1/8-inch in diameter through which the reproductive forms leave the wood. When the swarming is completed, these holes are plugged in the same way as the entrance holes. The damage done by drywood termites is entirely different from that caused by subterranean termites. These termites cut across the grain of the wood, excavating large chambers which are connected by small tunnels.
The good news is that drywood termites are relatively rare in the Sacramento area. They are much more likely to be found in the Bay Area or Southern California.