Drywood termites live inside of the wood. They are very hard to detect in the earlier stages of a colony’s development because they are very few in number. They get their water from the moisture content in the wood, similar to how a Koala gets its moisture from Eucalyptus leaves. Drywood Termites can survive with a wood moisture content as little as 2.5% to 3% but prefer wood that is as high as 10% moisture; those wet types of wood are commonly found near a leaky pipe, rusted water heater, or window panes. The bottom of Wood Window Sills are very common to have termite problems from a combination of easy access and moisture.
Drywood termites create a “kick out” whole. They kick out the colony’s hexagonal shaped feces, called “frass”, into piles below the kick out whole. Frass looks like saw dust from far away but when you get up close you can see that they are pellets.
Drywood termites live in much smaller colonies than Subterrianean termites, and cause less damage. A typical Drywood termite colony is smaller than 10,000 individual termites. Compare that with a Suberterrianean colony which could have as many as 500,000 termites!
There are two ways to detect the presence of Drywood Termites
-Finding piles of Frass below kick out wholes
-Hollow Sounding wood
Wood that has a dull, hollow sound when tapped should be examined closely. Careful probing with a sharp object like a hunting knife might reveal the presence of tunnels and galleries which the drywood termites have hollowed out as they fed upon the wood. Termites eat “with the grain of the wood”
Drywood termites are extremely organized. They create complex networks of chambers and tunnels as the colony grows. The best method available for treating an active drywood termite infestation is fumigation.