How to Get Rid of Drywood Termites

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Unlike other termites, the Drywood termite does not need the moisture found in soil to survive. Instead it establishes its nest completely above ground in dry, undecayed wood.

Physical Appearance
Drywood termites colonies contain a caste system of workers, soldiers and reproductives, which are all up to ½ inch longer than Subterranean Termites:

  • Workers make up the majority of the colony; they are about 1/8 inch long, white to cream in color, and have no wings.
  • Soldiers defend the colony against other insects that might attack the colony; they are white and wingless with large brown heads and jaws.
  • Reproductives,are dark brown to black in color and have two pairs of wings that extend twice the length of the body.

Know Your Enemy!
Learn more about your pesky opponents' savvy ways by reading up on some basic identification and biology: Drywood Termite ID & Biology

Inspection First
Before treating for drywood termites, you will need to get a pretty good idea of where the problem areas/ potential problem areas on your property are by looking for the common signs of infestation.

Signs of Drywood Termite Infestation:

1. Shed wings

2. Ejected wood pellets

3. Galleries inside wood

4. Piles of fecal pellets outside wood galleries which are elongated (approx .03" long) and round on the ends, with six flattened surfaces

(More detailed instructions for home inspection are available at Do Your Own Termite Inspection at Home. This article specifies Subterranean termite inspection, but its methods work for Drywood Termites as well.)


Recommended Treatments for Drywood Termite Control:

1. Structural fumigation (for severe infestations) can be very effective, but must be performed by a certified pest control operator. The entire structure or building is tightly covered with a special cover, after which a sulfuryl fluoride or methyl bromide gas is fumigated.

2. Spot Treatments. Spot treatments of infested wood may be accomplished by drilling a hole directly through the infested timbers and into the termite gallery using a 1/2" drill, or smaller depending on timber size. An appropriate liquid, such as Boracare or Timbor may then be injected into the galleries. Dusts should always be injected in small amounts, as too much will cause the termites to damn off the gallery and move elsewhere.

3. Wood Treatments. Treat infested wood directly with a insecticide borate preservative such as Timbor or Boracare. These products are also a great preventative treatment for wood that is not yet infested. You can find out more about wood treatments at the following link: How To use Timbor, and by closely following the instructions found on the product label.

  • Timbor
    A wood preservative for the protection and treatment of lumber against fungal decay and wood destroying insects.

4. Infested Furniture- You will have great success using a wood insecticide and preservative such as Boracare or Timbor. If the furniture is painted, sealed, or varnished, it will need to be stripped bare before using these products. The chemical that you choose should be sprayed directly to the infested surface and allowed to penetrate the wood. (Always read the product label for specific instruction before application). The treatment should kill all active termites or beetles and last the life of the wood.

Recommended Products for Drywood Termite Control :

  • BORACARE- Provides prevention and control of Termites, Carpenter Ants, Powderpost Beetles and Wood Decay Fungi
  • Cyper TC (Demon TC) Termiticide- Cypermethrin based product that acts as a repellant termiticide to control subterranean termite infestations. 5 Year Residual.
  • Phantom Termiticide Insecticide -Kills termites by ingestion and contact. Powerful insecticide for ants and cockroaches. Phantom has met New York's stringent environmental requirements and gained state registration.
  • Tengard SFR One-Shot Liquid Termiticide/Insecticide - Broad-spectrum insecticide provides excellent control of subterranean termites in pre-and post-construction applications.
  • Termidor SC- Termidor SC is one of the most effective termiticides and ant control products available today

View all Termite Control Products


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