Drywood Termites:  Facts, Identification & Control

Drywood Termites can be classified as a group of social insects that live in dry woods. They usually act as the biological decomposers of dry woods that gather on the soil. These wood materials that are broken down will later turn to humus soil. These termites cause the most noticeable damages to abandoned woods while their destructions are only noticed when the damages have been done.

Drywood Termites feed on wood grains, hence they can destroy both the soft and dry woods. They are subdivided into two namely; The winged reproductive Drywood Termites and the Wingless non-reproductive termites. Drywood Termites can measure as much as 16 inches in length.

Drywood Termites:  Facts, Identification & Control

Drywood Termite

Drywood Termites

Drywood Termites can also be subdivided into three; The Reproductive Alates, The soldiers, and the workers. The wingless immature Drywood Termites usually take up the role of workers. They search for food and build new homes for the termite colony. The soldiers have large brownish heads with poisonous mandible jaws that they use to fight off invaders and protect the colony.

The first evidence of dry wood infestation are the fecal pellets deposited on top of the dry wood. There are several factors that trigger the multiplication of Drywood Termites on a wood.

Sharp increases in moisture conditions, rainfall, Humidity, the wind and the ionic pressure (electrical charges) of the atmosphere can trigger the rapid development of the immature alates to become grown adult termites. These environmental conditions also determine the number of new alates that can be produced in the colony.

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The male and female premature alates are considered to be weak flyers because of their small stature, hence they are being carried away by the winds. Only a few of them grow enough to become adult termites, Most of them become preys for birds and bigger insects.

The immatured eggs laid by the queens are hatched several weeks after they are laid. They are nurtured to maturity by the king and queen termites. Eggs are not laid continuously but yearly.

The young queen matures yearly as she lays more eggs. The colony then reach its highest development stage when the queen stops laying eggs.

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Factors such as availability of food and environmental conditions dictate the survival of the colony as well as newborn Termites but it is possible to have multiple colonies of Termites in the same piece of wood. The higher the number of eggs laid by the queen, the higher the survival rate of Drywood Termites.

Drywood Termites usually extract moisture from wood they feed on, they build their nests on building wall supports, dry woods, leaky water sources, and leaves. They can thrive easily with low moisture, especially on dry woods.

Drywood Termites can be easily recognized in dry woods by light tan color fecal pellets which are about 0.25 inches long. These fecal pellets have concavely shaped sides and the shape of these pellets are as a result of the pressure the Drywood Termites exert when passing the fecal materials out of their body and trying to retain their moisture. They can easily thrive on dry woods with even less than 1% moisture.