Looking Up For Signs of Drywood Termites

Oct 10, 2017, 09:36 AM by Fred Speer

When you think of termites, you usually look downward and think of dirt. That’s because most of the problems homeowners have with this destructive pest are associated with subterranean termites that live and breed underground and infest structures from the soil below.

Did you know there is a termite that doesn’t like to get its antennae dirty, but still poses a threat to California homes?

Drywood termites live above ground in the exterior- facing wood in and around your home. They swarm on the exterior of a home on sunny fall days (September to November is prime swarmer season) after a spike in the thermometer following cooler temperatures.

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
  • Protected joints or crevices in and around doors

How do drywood termites cause damage? They excavate a small tunnel into the wood, close it behind them, and create a hollowed-out chamber that depletes the structural integrity of the wood.

Drywood termites can stay dormant for extended periods of time (more than a year) and then re-emerge stronger and hungrier than ever. They also are creatures of habit and will re-infest the exact same location, causing further damage.

Four signs of drywood termites in a home:

  1. Large numbers of flying insects on the exterior (and sometimes on the interior) of your home that are focused on the wood
  2. Discarded wings on windowsills, or flying termites observed on the exterior your home.
  3. Hollow-sounding or visibly damaged wood that is honeycombed or carved out. If you can easily make a hole with a pocket knife or flat-blade screwdriver in the wood, you might be looking at drywood termite damage.
  4. Unexplained piles of what looks like coarse grains of sand (these piles are “frass,” or termite fecal pellets, sifted out of wood by the drywood termites)

Remember, if you suspect your home has a problem with drywood termites, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or drop me an email at

Until next time I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.


Subscribe To Our Blog

Search our Blog