Beucher & Son Termite and Pest Control Inc.

Drywood Termites and You

Living in sunny Florida is great. You are surrounded by attractions, museums, beaches…and bugs. One of the bugs that should concern you is the drywood termite. This pesky little bug will invade your home and eat it…well, at least the wood part of your home. The good news is that they can be easily treated if certain very simple instructions are followed. That’s what I will be discussing here.

“Yikes!”  might be the first phrase that comes out of your month when hearing that you have drywood termites Florida.  Drywood termites are typically pale brown in color.  The soldier termite measures about 3/8 inch long and have large brownish heads with a strong jaw.  yes, strong enough to cut through wood!.

During the Alate (winged) stage they can be as long as 5/8-inch. With Florida Drywood Termites, the “worker” caste is made up of Nymph (juvenile). These Nymphs, which comprise the majority of the colony, are wingless and cream colored.

Florida drywood termites are much more different than their subterranean cousins.  Drywood termites do not require any contact with soil.  These termites acquire their nutrients and moisture through the digestion of cellulose, which is found in most household materials.

Drywood Termite | South Florida All Things Pest Control

Florida Drywood Termites have a tendency to create multiple colonies inside structures. Although often confused with sawdust, the most common way to identify an infestation is with the discovery of fecal pellets. Swarming and infestations by Florida Drywood termites are usually activated by warm temperatures and heavy rain during the Spring and Summer months. Soldier and Nymph termites remain inside the colony at all times. The Soldier termite guards the colony against attacks from enemies such as ants. Nymphs (juvenile) termites aid in all of the functions of the colony, from feeding soldier termites and assisting the King and Queen with new young, to constructing and expanding the colony. Alate (winged) termites “swarm” to find new dry wood. Once successful, these Alates soon pair, enter a small hole and create a new colony.


     Drywood Termite Swarmer


You will usually see many swarmers look like this when they do swarm.


Once the drywood termite finds a proper home to raise their family, such as a spot in the wood where it can wedge into and seal off the opening, it will take approximately 3-5 years for the colony to get large enough to swarm again. Once the colony is well established, the drywood termite will chew a small hole in the wood to push out the excess fecal “Pellets” that have accumulated…and yes, termite pellets in a nice way of saying drywood termite poop. The hole in which the fecal pellets are pushed out is known in the termite biz as a “Kicker” hole.

Below is a very close up picture of what the pellets look like, they can be in an arrange of many colors.

Notice in the  picture above is an average pile of drywood termite pellets. Notice the two small kicker holes above the pellets. That my friend is the most important part of of successfully treating drywood termite in your home. The kicker hole above is an active drywood termite infestation due to the amount of pellets that have been pushed out. This is the area in which we start our treatment.

IMPORTANT:

I cannot stress enough that you cannot clean up the pellets before we can start our treatment. Leave the drywood termite pellets alone and do not remove them because the pellets tell us where to start, if they are removed, we may not be able to do a great job for you.

I see a pile of pellets, does that mean it is an active infestation?

At times you may observe drywood termite pellets on the window sill, a door frame or by a floor baseboard.  There may be just a few pellets or a large pile. You immediately go into a panic at the thought of having a drywood termite infestation. But is it really an active infestation, meaning that there are live drywood termites causing the pellets to accumulate?


Drywood termites infest the structural timbers of buildings, furniture and other dry timbers having less than 12% timber moisture content. At times an active drywood termite infestation may die off due to a drastic change in the moisture content in the infested wood or other reasons. The good news is that your drywood problem is over but all of those fecal pellets are still in the wood. If a drywood termite created a kicker hole and the colony died off, the pellets will still fall out by gravity alone. Every time you slam a door, close a window, etc...the vibration will rattle a few pellets out. In time the pellet pile will grow. This is called "Fall-Out".



 Above is a cut away of what a drywood termite gallery looks like. Notice the build up of pellets. When the gallery gets too full,  a drywood termite will work its way down  and chew a hole at the bottom of the gallery, allowing the pellets will come out. In an active infestation, a drywood termite worker will take position at the opening within the wood and will continuously non-stop toss out the pellets.


A great way to check to see of you are experiencing an active infestation or just fall-out is by removing the pellets. If the pellets come back quickly in volume, you may have an active infestation but if it takes


And now for a word on the drywood swarmer wings........

The drywood termites will usually swarm at night. Once the emerge from their hidden galleries they will immediately search out a light source (Lamp, television, window, etc...) and fly to it. Once they land near the light source, they will cast off their wings. You will observe many wings as each drywood termite has four wings. Just because you see a ton of swarmer wings in the window sill, it does NOT mean that the drywood termite issue is in the window sill, it merely tells you that is where the termites flew to and shed their wings.

The true source of your termite issue is the "kicker" hole where you will normally see their pellets piling up. But the wings can tell a story to a professional and may provide additional information of locating the drywood termites in your home...so you will have to force yourself to leave them where they lay.

I know some of you are rolling your eyes up in your head.."OMG, I cannot leave this termite stuff all over my house, I have to clean it up"... but remember if you do, you are destroying the best chance to rid your home of these pesky little wood eaters.

So the number one rule of starting a successful drywood termite treatment is to...

LEAVE ALL TERMITE EVIDENCE ALONE AND DO NOT REMOVE IT

Once we are finished with our treatment, you can clean all that you want.


I have a large amount of winged insects in my home are they ants or termites?

Most people do not know that ants can swarm as well, and maybe at the same time that drywood termites swarm. How can you tell the difference? The picture below will provide you all the information you need to know

Another identifier of drywood termite wings is that when you look at them in a certain way, they will appear to have a iridescence of several colors.


What to expect from Beucher & Son

Once you observe a drywood termite issue in your home, you will need to create a drywood termite work order that is provided on the next page. Please be as accurate as possible in your description.  We are on Waterside South property every Wednesday performing the exterior pest control. This is an ideal time for us to take care of your termites. At the bottom of the drywood termite work request form, there is an option where you may grant us permission to obtain a key from the office and enter your home to service it. Only the owners of Beucher & Son will enter your home, no one else will be allowed. Your belongings are safe and will not be disturbed unless it is necessary to reach a certain area to treat the termites. If you choose to be present while we service your home for the termites, our response may take longer as an appointment will have to be set and may take weeks to fit you in due to already set appointments from other customers.


Our Method of drywood Termite Treatment

We prefer the Liquid injection treatment, it is very easily performed an less invasive to your lifestyle. We basically find the drywood termite kicker hole, slightly drill into it (same size as the kicker hole) and inject a product that is well know in the termite industry and a proven winner in the treatment for drywood termites. We will then patch the hole so no other fecal pellets will fall out. There is no safety issues here, all of the applied product is within the wall and no where for you to come in contact with it.


The product that we use is called  Termidor, here is a link for information  Termidor Link 





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