Are Drywood Termites A Good Thing?

Termites in the forest are a good thing, they breakdown dead wood that accumulates in and around soil creating a beneficial by-product that is returned to the soil as hummus.  But when it comes to termites in your home it is a different story.  Our friends at Bug Out Pest Control tell us that  drywood termites are one of the most destructive insect pests of wood in the United States. They cause in excess of $1.5 Billion in damages to homes and commercial structures each year. Their presence goes unnoticed until damage is discovered or a swarm occurs within the structure. Drywood termites are the single most destructive insect to homes in Southern California.

Termites are social insects that live in colonies in sound, dry wood. In comparison to other termites drywood colonies are relatively small (a few thousand termites), They neither live in the ground nor maintain contact with soil, and they do not build mud tubes. Drywood termites produce characteristic pellets. These pellets are eliminated through what are known as “kick holes”. Pellets will accumulate on surfaces below kick holes and are usually the first sign of drywood termite infestations. Drywood termites tend to cut across wood grain destroying both the soft spring wood and the harder summer growth. The other sign of possible termite infestation is termite swarmers. Drywood termite swarmers are about 7/16 inch long, including the wings. Their wings are almost clear to a smoke gray color and have few distinct veins in them. The Drywood termite swarmers are reproductive and they will leave the colony in search of a new place to begin a new colony.

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