Drywood Termites

Facts, Identification & Control

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Incistermes snyderi

Incistermes minor

FOUND THROUGHOUT TEXAS

  • Highest concentration of Drywood termites are along the Gulf Coast
  • There are two important species.

INCISTERMES SNYDERI

  • Is 1/2 long, including its wings.
  • Are yellowish with uncolored wings.
  • Swarms at night and can be collected at lights.

INCISTERMES MINOR

  • 5/16 inch long (14 mm) including its wings.
  • Dark brown to black with brown wings.
  • Swarms in daytime.

SWARMING

  • Both species are very similar.
  • Produces swarmers during late August and early September.
  • Within a few minutes, the male and female termites pair, shed their wings, and begin to search for a suitable nesting site.

BIOLOGY AND HABITATS

  • Live above ground, without soil contact, in posts, stumps, trees and wood structures.
  • Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites need no contact with soil or any other sources of moisture.
  • Water needed to survive is produced by digested wood.
  • Main source of moisture is metabolic water, which results from the oxidation of food.
  • Trees and brush are the primary food source.
  • When land is cleared and structures erected, the termites become established in the structures.
  • Enter structures through attic and foundation vents, under eaves and fascia and through natural construction gaps around doors and windows.
  • Consume both the harder summerwood and the soft springwood of timbers. These leaves a sculpted appearance to their galleries.

IMPERIUM'S INSPECTION FOR DRYWOOD TERMITES

  • First sign of our identification of a drywood termite infestation is the production of the winged reproductive swarms from small openings in the surface of the wood.
  • If the swarmers are found inside the structure, the infestation is almost certainly in the structural timbers of that building.
  • If we find the termites outdoors, further evidence is needed so we can determine whether the termites swarmed from the structure or from nearby timber or brush.
  • The best evidence Imperium uses for a drywood termite infestation is the presence of fecal pellets.
  • In pier and beam-type construction, Imperium will inspect the sills and floor joists for damage, and check the soil beneath them for fecal pellets.
  • On a structure's roof and shingles, we will look for depressions that would indicate a weak or collapsed area.
  • Additionally, we will review the fascia and eaves for kick holes, and also for spider webs that might contain swarming termites or fecal pellets.
  • Imperium will also inspect wood siding along its lower edges for drywood termite damage and horizontal surgaces such as the upper surgace of the ceiling in the attic for accumulations of fecal pellets.
  • We will check indoors for light fixtures, spider webs and windowsills for dead swarmers or discarded wings.

FECAL PELLETS

  • These pellets are about 1/32 inche (1 mm) long and, when viewed with ven modest magnification, show a long dimple or flute down each surface.
  • The pellets also appear to be six-sided and blunt at one end and pointed at the other. They can be gray, black, red, yellow, brown and other colors.
  • NOTE* Neither the color nor any other quality of the pellets indicates the age of the infestation and thse fecal pellets of this size and shape are unique to drywood termites.
  • Periodically, drywood termites push these pellets out of their nests through openings in the surface of the wood known as "kick-holes."
  • These openings are about 1/16 (2 mm) in diameter and usually have a few fecal pellets lodged in the opening.
  • Fecal pellets will be present in their galleries.