Drywood Termites: Signs, Damage, Prevention & Treatment Cost

Drywood termites are considered one of the most destructive insects today not only in the United States but all over the world. The damage they have caused is often a surprising expense for most homeowners.

drywood termite picture

Because of their nesting habits and size, drywood termites, as well as the infestation, can be difficult to recognize.


it is crucial to be educated about termite control and even the damage they’re capable of causing.

However, if you are not familiar with drywood termites, here’s an outline of what these termites are as well as how to get rid and prevent them.

What Do Drywood Termites Look Like?

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  • Size

The size of drywood termites differs depending on their caste. Typically, soldier termites are 3/8-inch long. While both female and male reproductive are 0.5-inch long.

  • Color

drywood termite sizeTypically, drywood termites differ in color depending on their role and maturity inside the colony.

Soldier termites range from cream to brown.

Worker termites may possibly look white against the wood and cream in color.

The alates or reproductive can be black or brown.

  • Shape

Drywood termites, on the other hand, have straight antennae, a thick waist, and short legs. Alates or drywood termite swarmers feature wings that have similar length, whereas, the soldiers have mandibles (mouthparts) with teeth.

Signs of Drywood Termite Infestation

  1. Wood Tunnels

Burrows created from termites or also known as the termite gallery isn’t easy to recognize. But, if you break a broken wood and see some tunnels, undeniably, there’s a drywood termite infestation in your property.

  1. Damaged Wood

When drywood termites invade your house, they’ll start feasting and will eat wood slowly making them hollow. Thus if you notice damaged wood it means that there is drywood termite activity around your home.

  1. Mud Tubes

Drywood termites build mud tubes so that they will gain access to their food source. However, the existence of such tubes obviously shows termite infestation.

  1. Termite Droppings or Frass

Another key indicator that there’s a termite infestation in your place. These droppings look like coffee grounds or sawdust.

Drywood Termite Damage

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As drywood worker termites’ tunnel in order to make their colony bigger, wood or lumber is damaged. The drywood galleries cut the wood’s grain, which weakens the internal structure of the wood.

drywood termite damage

Then sooner or later, the wood fails.

Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites tend to make damages slowly. However, they are harder to detect and may possibly extend through an extensive area.

What Do They Eat?

Drywood termites eat dry wood including wooden furniture, hardwood floors, structural timbers, and home’s framing. Moreover, when they’re eating wood, the damage will only look smooth.

Where Do They Live?

As the name implies, these termites usually live in areas that are rich in dry wood. They can be found in door frames , windows, and in your home’s foundation. In yards, drywood termites reside within the sources where they can find food to eat such as dead trees.

In the United States…

These termites frequently reside in southern coastal parts across the U.S. They are found in narrow strips from Virginia and South Florida to California.

Habits of Drywood Termites

  • Colony Size

The colonies of these termites are usually located in the wood’s interior structure. Also, their colonies are smaller as compared to subterranean colonies. Nevertheless, the maximum size of drywood’s colony is about 4800 termites.

  • Aggressiveness

In terms of aggressiveness, subterranean termites are more aggressive than drywood. Aforementioned, drywood termites cause damage slowly.

  • Adaptability

Drywood termites can adapt dry surroundings effectively by means of having more water-resistant cuticles to keep body moisture.

How Did I Get Them?

Drywood termites enter your property because of infested items such as wooden structure and even exposed wood. Furthermore, if there are gaps in your crevices or cracks on the wall, termites will use them to gain access to your property.

Drywood Termites Treatment Cost

Homeowners may possibly upset over the price of the termite treatment. Exterminators or inspectors might charge you hundreds of dollars in order to get rid of the infestation.

However, the standard cost accompanying the treatment depends on several factors such as:

  • the range of the infested area
  • the method used
  • how many drywood termites are in your home

Nevertheless, the drywood termite treatments may possibly cause $500-$5000 depending on the factors listed above. If the termites cause an extensive amount of damage, then you will need to spend a higher amount.

How to Get Rid Of Drywood Termites

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  1. Use Liquid Termite Barriers

Liquid termite barriers can actually kill drywood termites. It also serves as a preemptive action against new termite infestation. Basically, with this method, your home will be surrounded with a poisonous pesticide. However, you can also utilize it to surround wooden structures, wood piles, and even tree stumps

  1. Replace or Remove Infested Wood

Very effective way to eliminate drywood termites is to replace or remove wooden structures that are already infested. If the wood can’t be replaced or removed you can consider other treatment options. Or seek help from professional.

Tips for Drywood Termite Control

  1. Store lumber and firewood away from the foundation of your home.
  2. Seal any unfinished wood in your property and even nail holes using sealant, paint, or varnish. However, make sure that the coats are even.
  3. On your openings vent, windows, and doors, place a type 20 and fitted mesh screen on them. Also, don’t forget areas which lead to crawlspaces as well as attics.

Prevention of Drywood Termites

  1. Lessen or Remove Food Sources

Throw away extra items that are cellulose-based around your property like crawl spaces. Also, remove landscaping protection with materials that are free from cellulose. Or keep it six inches away from your home’s foundation.

  1. Reduce Moisture

Make sure that water doesn’t pool around your home’s foundation and even on the rood. Furthermore, if there’s a moisture issue in crawlspace areas and basement you should resolve it immediately. Lastly, fix faulty gutters, leaky, plumbing, and other lines which might be dripping.

  1. Spray and Treat The Wood

Hiring an expert to spay and treat the wood around your property is highly recommend if you want to prevent drywood termites from causing damage to your property. Experts, on the other hand, will utilize fungicide and termitcide spray that is made up of a mineral salt that will stay on the wood for long periods.
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Subterranean vs Drywood Termites: What’s the Difference?

  • Waste

Determining subterranean and drywood termite wastes or droppings is very easy because of their location and appearance. Since drywood termites nest in the wood, usually they bore kick holes to get rid of their feces.

Aforementioned, the waste of these termites looks like coffee grounds or sawdust. Subterranean termites, on the other hand, utilize wood, droppings, and saliva to create mud tunnels. And this is only the time when homeowners will see their feces.

  • Habitat

Drywood termites create their nests in timbers, while subterranean colonies nest under the ground and build mud tubes.

  • Damage

Subterranean and drywood termites are both destructive structural insects. In fact, their feeding patterns may possibly cause expensive damage which gets worse when not treated immediately.


Drywood termites are notorious creatures as they cause an unreasonable amount of damage to property which often goes unnoticed for a long period of time. To avoid this from happening, it’s best to conduct a termite inspection or treatment annually especially if you’re not certain if termites are invading your property.

Comments 1

  1. ramin_gharakhani@gmail.com says:

    Termites like dark and moist areas. That’s why they live just below the surface of the wood and bring in moisture into their termite galleries. This moisture can often cause the wood to swell. If you have termites in your wooden floors, the floors will likely start to swell. Similarly, the moisture can also cause the paint on wooden surfaces to bubble or peel ; especially if the termites have eaten all the way up to the paint layer.

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