Drywood termites can be found in dry wood, structural lumber, and dead tree limbs. During sunny days in the fall, these termites have been known to migrate to nearby structures. While subterranean termites require contact with the soil where they create their colonies, drywood termites do not need contact with moisture, soil, or any water source when building a colony.
Like other termite colonies, drywood termites are hard to detect. One of the easiest ways to detect a termite colony is to look for fecal pellets below the infestations. Worker termites are responsible for leaving the distinct fecal pellets, which are approximately 1/25″ long. While subterranean termites do not leave dry fecal pellets, any pellets that are found are characteristic of a drywood colony. Once they are found, some techniques used to eliminate the termite colonies are chemical spot treatments, heat, microwaves, freezing cold, electricity, and pressure-treated wood barriers.
Structural damage occurs as the drywood termite tunnels through the wood to enlarge the colony. Their tunneling pattern cuts against the grain of the wood, causing the wood’s internal structure to weaken. Eventually, this causes the wood to fail. Although the damage caused by drywood termites seems to progress at a slower rate than other types of termite colonies, they usually cause significant damage before they are detected.