Drywood Termites

Drywood Termite Inspection Guide

How To Find Drywood Termites

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Drywood Termite Inspection Tips

You should inspect your home once a year for drywood termite infestations. Doing your own drywood termite inspection at home can definitely be intimidating. The following tips can help you perform a thorough and successful termite inspection right at home.

We do recommend you get a professional inspection every few years especially if you have a home that has wood that comes into contact with the ground or if your home has areas that are difficult to inspect.

Tools Needed:

  • Coveralls
  • Bright flashlight
  • Pocket knife or flathead screwdriver

Step 1

How To Check For Drywood Termites

Inspecting for termites can be a dirty job. You may want to purchase and wear a pair of disposable coveralls and a pair of gloves. A bright flashlight will come in handy to light up dim or dark areas and a flat headed screwdriver will allow you to probe wood to find weakness that is indicative of termite infestations.

When inspecting for a drywood termite infestation there are a few things you will be looking for such as small holes in wood, damaged wood and/or live termites.

  • Damaged wood. Wood with sustained termite damage might look "crushed" at structural joints. If you tap the damaged wood with the end of the screwdriver or knife, you will hear a dull thud. Wood suspected of termite damage can be further inspected by probing the surface with the screwdriver or pocket knife to expose tunnels. Drywood termites can excavate tunnels that run parallel to the grain or across the grain.
  • Small "kick out holes" in wood. Drywood termites termites make small holes in wood to discard their feces. The holes are typically the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen.
  • Fecal Pellets.The drywood termite droppings are hard and dry and are six-sided. The color of the feces will vary and is not necessarily influenced by the color of the wood that is infested.
  • Piles of wings. Before swarmers enter the next stage of development, they will shed their wings which are often left in scattered piles near windows or light sources.

Potential Problem Areas

Drywood termites do not need wood with a high moisture content nor do they need contact with soil so no mud tubes will be found when drywood termites are infesting wood. Drywood termites can fly in from other areas and can infest many areas in your home or structure. Potential problem areas that you should inspect include:
  • Wooden elements of construction in attics and wall voids
  • Window sills and frames, door frames, wooden doors
  • Wooden cabinets and wood floors
  • Wood piles and debris near the foundation including tree stumps, exterior window and door frames, and fence posts.

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