What Are Drywood Termites?

Drywood termites are a type of termite that thrives in hard, dry wood found inside a home. This includes both structural timbers and furniture such as picture frames and banisters. They do not form colonies in the soil; instead, they burrow into the wood and extract necessary water from the wood they consume. This pest can cause as much damage as other termite species, so if you suspect an infestation, seek dry wood termite treatment as soon as possible.

How to Identify Drywood Termites?

termite inspection

Drywood termites range in size from 1/4 inch to 1 inch long, depending on their age. Adult dry wood termites have a thicker, oval-shaped waist, short legs, and straight antennae with wings of equal length. They have six legs and are typically cream-white to light brown in color.

Understanding Drywood Termites


Soldiers of dry wood termites have large mandibles (mouthparts) with teeth, and their pronotum is as wide as or wider than the head. Furthermore, most drywood termite soldiers and workers are larger than subterranean termite soldiers and workers.


Alates, sometimes known as swarmers, have two pairs of wings. The outer half of the front set of wings displays a pattern of three or more strong, well-pigmented veins. Also, because swarmers shed their wings soon after swarming, almost all deceased swarmer carcasses lack attached wings. This is an excellent way to tell drywood termite swarms apart from subterranean termite swarms since subterranean swarmers will include deceased swarmers with and without attached wings. 


Colonies form in wood and occasionally other cellulose material, with no need for a connection to the ground; commonly found in attic wood; requires very little moisture.


Before reaching adulthood, nymphs go through four to seven instars; sexual forms eventually swarm to form new colonies.

Signs And Symptoms Of A Drywood Termite Infestation

Drywood termite infestations can be difficult to identify since these insects dwell totally within the wood on which they eat. There may be few visible drywood termite indicators until they have taken up residence in your walls or furniture. A drywood termite colony can cause apparent damage for up to five to seven years.


After around four years, the termite queen will produce a pheromone to induce the production of alate termites in a drywood termite colony (also known as flying termites or swarmers). While a swarm is frequently the most evident indicator of a drywood termite infestation, it is easy to overlook. Swarms occur only once or twice a year, and drywood termite colonies generate about 10 – 100 swarmers per colony; hence the swarm size can be minimal.

Discarded Wings

Following the swarm, you may come across abandoned termite wings indicating the position of the alates. After swarming, alate termites quickly lose their wings. Finding multiple identical wings near a window sill or other light source can indicate a drywood termite infestation.

Drywood Feces

Tiny mounds of termite droppings are another drywood termite indicator (called frass). More symptoms of drywood activity include bubbling or peeling paint and a hollow sound when you tap on a wall. If you need assistance determining whether you have activity, contact us now for a free termite examination of your house.

Reach Out to Us Today!

At Facility Pest Control, we understand just how stressful a drywood termite infestation can be. If left untreated, their presence can cause damage to your property and compromise your family’s health. For more information on drywood termites or any other pest problems you may have, contact us today. We offer prompt and professional service.