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How To Tell If You Have Drywood Termites?

Close up of drywood termite

Without special training, it can be challenging to detect a drywood termite infestation. In fact, it can take up to seven years for a drywood termite colony to create enough damage for you to take notice. This is because drywood termites live in the wood they feed in and silently damage structures from underneath. 

Unfortunately, termites are a serious issue and pose a significant threat to California homes. If you want to protect your home from unnecessary repairs, it’s important to know what signs to look out for. 

Once you know what to look for, you’ll know when to seek professional termite control. Early intervention can save you money, time, and stress.

Do you think you could have drywood termites in your home? Keep reading to learn why termites are dangerous, the top 4 signs of infestation, and what to do if you think you have a termite problem. 

What are Drywood Termites? 

Drywood termites are insects that infest dry wood. To feed off the wood they live in, termites make many small tunnels, hollowing out whatever structure they’re living in. This can be bad news for you if your home becomes infested because it can seriously damage the structure of your home. 

Unfortunately, it can be almost impossible to spot the signs of a drywood termite infestation before it’s too late because they:

  • Live in small colonies 
  • Can stay dormant for long periods
  • Are usually widely dispersed
  • Can take years to mature 
  • Re-infest the same location multiple times 

Where do you Find Drywood Termites? 

Although drywood termites can infest any area of the home with dry wood, common infestation areas include: 

  • Wood siding, framing, & molding
  • Wooden roof supports & shingles 
  • Drywall & wooden flooring 
  • Framing around windows and doors
  • Wooden foundations 

Depending on the amount of damage, repairs for termite infestations can be quite complicated and costly.

Is Having Termites Something to Worry About?

If you think you have a termite problem, you must seek professional help right away. Termites can cause severe and costly damage to your home if the problem isn’t taken care of quickly and properly.

In an average year, it is estimated that roughly 600,000 homes are affected by termite damage. In the US alone, these damages cost Americans up to $5 billion annually, most of which is not covered by homeowners insurance. 

Close up of termites on rotten wood.

4 Signs You May Have Drywood Termites Inside Your Home

It can be pretty difficult to notice the signs of a drywood termite infestation, but there are a few visible signs you should know to look out for. 


One of the most prominent indications of a termite infestation is if there are swarms of flying insects in or around your home. These swarms will usually be around wooden areas in your home.

While a swarm is the most visible sign of an infestation, you could easily miss it as it only happens once or twice a year. 

Discarded Wings

Another sign you can look out for is the presence of termite wings. After termites swarm, they lose their wings. 

These are usually easier to spot near a window sill or another light source.

Damaged Wood 

Visibly damaged wood or hollow-sounding wood could be a sign of drywood termite damage. Usually, if you notice an infestation at this point, a lot of structural damage has already occurred and you will most likely have to get it repaired. 

Drywood Droppings

The last visible sign of an infestation is termite droppings. Drywood termite droppings are tiny and look similar to salt and pepper. 

Because termite droppings are so small, you typically won’t notice them unless you’re specifically looking for them. If you do see them, they will usually form in small piles beneath holes in the wood of your home. 

What To Do If You Have Termites

If you notice any of the signs of a drywood termite infestation, you should contact a pest control service and have an expert perform a termite inspection as soon as possible.

An expert will know exactly where to look for termite activity and can help identify treatments based on the size of the colony and the extent of the damage. 

Common Termite Treatments 

Companies like Dustin Pest Control will typically use one of the two following methods to effectively and efficiently rid your home of termites:

  • A liquid termite treatment involves putting a chemical barrier in the soil around your home. These chemicals kill the termites and prevent more colonies from forming. 
  • Baiting Systems uses a similar approach to liquid treatments, but instead of putting chemicals into the ground, they are put into food sources such as wood, cardboard, or paper.

If you suspect your home has become infested with drywood termites, book an appointment with Dustin Pest Control. Our expert team is trained to keep unwanted pests out of your home.

Written by Denise

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