Does my home have drywood termites?

Sep 1, 2023, 13:00 PM by Fred Speer

When termite damage is discovered in a home, most homeowners assume the primary culprit is the cryptic subterranean termite. There is another termite, however, that doesn’t have as high a profile and won’t get down and dirty in the soil. Still, this termite poses a significant threat to California homes. Say hello to the drywood termite.

Clark, your friendly pest, mosquito, termite, and rodent control expert, would like to put a spotlight on drywood termites, and educate you on the signs that your home may have them and how to prevent them.

Drywood termites live above ground in the exterior-facing wood in and around a structure. Flying adult reproductive termites called swarmers are often seen on a structure’s exterior. For the most part, however, drywood termites are obscure, difficult-to-detect insects. They live deep inside wood, and except during swarming season – late summer and early fall – or when repair work is being done on infested homes, they are seldom seen.

Their colonies are small, with usually fewer than 1,000 termites, in comparison to subterranean termites, whose colonies can contain thousands or even millions. But drywood termites can be more widely dispersed in a home, and their colonies can take years to mature.

Drywood termites excavate small tunnels into the wood, close it behind them, and create a hollowed-out chamber that depletes the wood’s structural integrity. They can stay dormant for extended periods of time – more than a year – and then re-emerge stronger and hungrier than ever. Drywood termites also are creatures of habit and will reinfest the exact same location in a home, causing further damage.

Signs of drywood termites

There are several signs that you should look for, including:

  • Swarms: Drywood termites can release swarms of winged reproductive termites. These are often seen flying around windows and lights.
  • Discarded wings: After a swarm, you might find discarded wings near windowsills or on the floor.
  • Fecal pellets: Drywood termites push their feces out of small holes near their nests. These fecal pellets are small, elongated, and have a distinct shape, resembling tiny wood-colored grains.

It takes a well-trained termite inspector to know where to look for drywood termite activity in a structure, correctly analyze the findings, assess whether treatment is needed, and recommend a treatment that will be most effective.

Drywood termite prevention tips

You can take steps to reduce the risks from drywood and other termites by doing the following:

  • Wood maintenance: Regularly inspect and maintain wooden structures, including furniture, doors, and windows. Replace any damaged wood promptly.
  • Sealing cracks: Seal any cracks or openings in the exterior of your home, as termites can enter through tiny openings.
  • Firewood and debris: Store firewood and other wooden debris away from your home's foundation.


Termite control from Clark Pest Control

For maximum protection against termites, you should schedule a no-obligation home wellness inspection that includes a complete termite inspection, in addition to a check for rodent vulnerabilities and a look at how well your home’s insulation is functioning. You also can ask for more information on Clark Pest Control’s Termite Infestation Protection program (T.I.P.), which is designed to protect your home from future infestations and damage caused by all species of termites.

Call or text California’s trusted, friendly drywood termite control expert at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at to schedule your home wellness inspection and defuse the termite threat.

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