Drywood termites – the silent invaders

Oct 1, 2021, 12:43 PM by Fred Speer

Drywood termites live deep inside wood. Except during periods when they swarm, or when repair work is being done on an infested home, they are seldom seen. Nevertheless, they remain constantly busy with their destructive behavior.

And they are patient adversaries. It can take years – five to seven in some cases – for a drywood termite colony to fully mature.

Drywood termites will infest areas of a home where you typically aren’t paying attention – in attics, under eaves and overhangs, and along the roofline.

This is why it’s important to have your home inspected at no charge by a licensed Clark Pest Control inspector.

The inspection is part of Clark’s new home wellness initiative for new customers and existing customers. The initiative covers drywood and subterranean termites, and it also addresses rodent entry points and the insulation in your home.

During the inspection, Clark inspectors will look for damage from feeding termites, shed wings from termite swarmers, fecal pellets, and kick-out holes (small holes that are less than an inch in diameter) through which termites push fecal pellets out of the wood.

Following the inspection, a report will be prepared and shared with you. It will analyze the findings and assess whether treatment is needed, and what kind of treatment plan will deliver the best results for your home.

Where do drywood termites live?

Drywood termites are found mostly along California’s coastline and in some parts of the Central Valley.

They will colonize in attics, locating their colonies in wood with more favorable temperatures, such as ceiling joists that have bottom sides cooled by air conditioning from below.

Areas of a home that are most susceptible to drywood termites include:

  • Wood siding and wooden roof shingles
  • Wood framing and supports in attics
  • Wood molding and framing around windows and doors
  • Eaves and overhangs
  • Unprotected joints or crevices in and around doors

Signs your home may have drywood termites

Drywood termites eat across the wood’s natural grain. They hollow out chambers connected by tunnels whose walls are smooth, as if finely sanded.

While you may initially detect the presence of drywood termites when they swarm, or if fecal pellets are discovered, inspecting and determining the extent of an infestation requires a highly trained eye.

  • Swarms are often the most visible sign of a drywood termite infestation, but the number of swarmers is small – only 10 to 100 – so the infestation can easily be missed.

  • Discarded wings following a swarm are a telltale sign of drywood termites.

  • Tiny mounds of sawdust-looking frass (drywood termite feces) are another sign they could be present.

  • Bubbling or peeling paint, or a hollow sound when you tap on wood, can also be signs of drywood termite activity.

Here’s a good T.I.P. for you

Make sure to ask about Clark’s exclusive Termite Infestation Protection (T.I.P.) program, which covers a home from future infestations and damages. A full inspection must be performed to see if your home will qualify. Then, for a small monthly fee, you can avoid costly out-of-pocket treatment and repair expenses.

If you suspect your home may have a drywood termite infestation, call California’s trusted, friendly termite expert, Clark, at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339), or email us at

Clark Pest Control is committed to safeguarding your home from pests during these challenging times. Our service technicians use such personal protective equipment as gloves, masks, and respirators, they practice social distancing, they call ahead to notify before a service, and they adhere strictly to all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when servicing inside or outside your home.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home.

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