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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.

6 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. 

Warped Doors

Termites eat wood from the inside out, leaving a thin veneer on the surface. This can make damage hard to spot initially, but you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled. That’s because drywood termites produce moisture as they eat through wood, which can cause doors and windows to become warped or hard to open and close. This warping, which is one of the most common signs of drywood termites, can often be mistaken for water damage. However, if you see this sign along with any other termite indicators, it’s likely termites are the cause.

Warped wood around door frames and window sills can be particularly troubling because these areas are critical for the overall insulation and security of your home. It’s a sign that the termites are not only present but are causing significant damage.

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. 

Clicking Sounds

If you’re still wondering how to tell if you have termites, just keep listening. One of the more subtle signs of drywood termites is the sound they make. If you hear soft clicking sounds coming from your walls, it’s a good idea to pay closer attention. Soldier termites bang their heads against the wood or shake their bodies when the colony is disturbed to signal danger to the other termites, producing detectable noises.

These clicking noises are often heard at night when the house is quiet. Listening for these can help you catch an infestation before you can see any physical signs.

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.

Will Drywood Termites Go Away on Their Own?

As you can see, it’s important to know how to tell if you have termites — but it’s not always easy. If you suspect these pests are in your home, you may have to do some investigating.

So, now that you’re familiar with the signs of drywood termites, you might be hoping they’ll just vanish. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case; the harsh reality is that drywood termites will not go away on their own. These pests are known for their ability to continue destroying wood undetected for years. Without intervention, a drywood termite infestation will only grow larger and more destructive over time.

Professional termite control is essential to stop termites from damaging your home further. The longer you wait to address an infestation, the more extensive — and expensive — the damage can become. Early detection and professional treatment are your best defenses against these destructive pests.

How Long Does It Take for Drywood Termites to Destroy a Home?

While drywood termites work slower than subterranean termites, they can still cause catastrophic damage if left untreated. It can take a few years for drywood termite colonies to grow large enough to cause structural damage. However, because they are often hard to detect, they can silently eat away at your home for years before you notice.

Even a small colony can weaken your home’s structure over time. Significant damage can be done within five to six years, but the exact timeline can vary based on the size of the colony and the availability of food sources. This makes regular inspections and prompt treatment essential.

Contact Dustin Pest Control Today!

If you’re unsure how to tell if you have termites, hopefully, this guide has made it easier to spot these pests in your home. Have you noticed any of these signs of drywood termites? Don’t wait for the problem to worsen. Contact Dustin Pest Control for reliable termite control in Fresno, CA. Our experienced team will inspect your home, assess the extent of the infestation, and provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan.

Remember, the sooner you act, the better you can protect your home from the destructive power of drywood termites. We also handle other pest problems, including fleas in California, to make sure your home is safe and comfortable year-round.

Ready to get your home inspected and protect it from termites? Schedule a service with Dustin Pest Control today and take a step toward a termite-free home!

Written by Denise

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