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How To Control Drywood Termites

While subterranean termites may be the most common species of termite which is known to infest homes and inflict devastating damage, a less common species which is just as destructive is the drywood termite. Drywood termites are also a major problem for homeowners and treating them the same way you would treat subterranean termites will prove to be ineffective as they have unique habits and behavior which should be approached differently when attempting to control their infesting populations.

Drywood termites like to reside, feed and build nests in fresh wood and do not depend on moisture or soil for survival unlike subterranean termites. Like other termite species, they are social and live within a caste system of reproductives, workers and soldiers. Male and Female reproductives can grow up to 1/2 inch long. Drywood termites have soft bodies which are shaped in cylindrical fashion and are usually pale brown in color. Soldier termites are 3/8 of an inch long. The clear signs that you may have an infestation of drywood termites is the presence of swarmers moving about in your home or their wings left behind. Another warning sign includes drywood termites signature: frass. These are small mounds of wood-based fecal pellets which they discard while making tunnels.


How To Get Rid of  Termites: 4 Step Solution

It’s important to emphasize again that because of the nature of the drywood termite and it’s behavior (in particular the fact that it doesn’t live in soil and doesn’t require moisture to thrive), the control approach is much different than tackling termites like the subterranean termite. By following the simple steps to DIY Drywood Termite Control we’ve laid out below, you can successfully wipe out the drywood termite population that is destroying your home and put an end to their feasting.


If you have an infestation of drywood termites in your home, action must be taken quickly. At Solutions Pest and Lawn we can equip you with the right products and the right knowledge to put in place an effective control approach to eliminate drywood termites from your home. 


ALSO CHECK OUT: Checkout Termite Info Graphic

READ MORE: 7 Alarming Signs That You May Have Drywood Termites

 inspect for drywood termites

Step 1: Identification - Drywood termites do not depend on moisture or soil like subterranean termites do. They instead colonize within woods. The swarmers (or alates) are winged. Once mature they leave the original colony and a responsible for producing new colonies. The body is a reddish brown color and they are approximately one-half inch long and have two pair of wings equal in length. If you see this stage of termite inside or outside your home it should be cause for concern since it is an indication that your home is possibly infested.


Next there are the reproductives known as the king and queen that stay within the colony the full span of their lives. The next member is the soldier. They are approximately one-quarter inch long, their bodies are cream-colored, their head is rectangular shaped and an orange color. They have large mandibles with serrated edges and are used to protect the colony from intruders. Finally, you have the workers that are cream colored, about 3/16th of an inch long. The workers are responsible for damaging the structure by eating the wood to collect cellulose. The majority of termites consist of worker termites.


Drywood termites are normally found in the attic or the eaves around the exterior around the house. Although swarms are a pretty good indication that you have an infestation, drywood termites may be difficult to find.

inspect for drywood termites

Step 2: Inspection - Next we are going to want to confirm whether or not you have termites and the best way to do this is via inspection. The signs to look out for are mud tubes, frass, wings and feces. Frass is a good indicator that you have drywood termite activity. Frass looks similar to sawdust and is left behind by termites while digging through and consuming wood. They can also appear in the form of a small wooden pellet which is actually their feces. Swarmer wings found in your home is an indication of the swarmer termites being active in mating and creating a new colony within the home. Finding wings is a tell-tale sign that you have a heavy infestation.


When doing these inspections, be sure you equip yourself with a flashlight to check dark areas like basements or attics. You should also use a screwdriver or sharp ended object to probe termite galleries. Pay close attention to all wood construction, support posts and ceiling joists or areas where soil meets wood.

formosan step 3
Step 3: Control - If the colony has been identified in a specific area within the structure you want to replace the damaged wood and treat with a borate based product Boracare. Boracare is applied to bare wood and should be mixed in a bucket with warm water using a paddle bit that fits a standard drill. Mix the product until it has the consistency of water, pour the mixture into a sprayer and spray the wood to wet.


You can treat exposed wood behind sheetrock or up in the attic. Boracare will penetrate the wood and kill the termites as they feed. Also, if you have access to underneath your house you can spray all the exposed wood there as well. Next, apply Fipro Aerosol Foam into any exposed termite galleries, voids, cracks and crevices around windows, doors and fireplaces. Fipro aerosol is a foam and it travels very easily through termite galleries which actually provides good deep penetration.

Preventing Drywood Termites
Step 4: Prevention - To prevent drywood termites from accessing your home you can use Boracare and spray it up in the attic on all exposed wood also in the exterior up underneath the house and the floor joists. You can also use Red Eye termite monitoring stations. Place multiple Red Eye station around the home to monitor for termite activity. When there is termite activity, the Red Eye indicator will let you know by disappearing and then you can treat termites accordingly by injecting Fipro aerosol into the station. Other preventative measures you can take is to reduce moisture around the house. Check the Red Eye once a month.


Shop our drywood termite control products on this page. For more information, call us at 800-479-6583, email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or live chat with us on our website for free expert help.


The Ultimate Guide To Getting Rid of Drywood Termites


Drywood termites can be a destructive problemWhen it comes to termite infestations in the U.S., the species of termite most people focus on are subterranean termites. That's because about 90% of termite problems and wood destruction come from the subterranean species. But what about the other 10%? That damage is the doing of the drywood termite species. While they may be a smaller issue percentage-wise compared to the destruction inflicted by subterranean termites, drywood termites are still a large threat to a home.


Drywood termites have different behaviors and tendencies compared to subterraneans and therefore, they need a different treatment approach when it comes to eliminating them from your home. The best way to defeat the drywood termite is to first arm yourself with knowledge of the species. By learning more about the drywood termite, you will then be equipped with the guidance necessary to destroy these destructive pests and rid them from your home.


Facts about the Drywood Termite

Drywood termites like to set up their nests in wood.Drywood termites are primarily found in the southern coastal areas and are saturated basically in a strip along the southern border of the United States ranging from California all the way to Florida. They are especially plentiful in states like California, Florida, Louisiana and Texas.


Aside from the love for consuming cellulose, drywood termites don’t share much in common with subterranean termites in regards to their behavior and way of living. For instance, unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites do not require moisture to survive and thrive. They do not need to live underground or require soil contact. All they need to survive is undecayed wood, both for food and to build their nests for shelter. The way drywood termites infest a piece of wood is by flying to a targeted area, usually through entering a crack or crevice of some sort between pieces of wood.


Once a male and female pair of drywood termites have selected their piece of wood, the female proceeds to lay eggs which would soon hatch and make up the colony of worker termites and soldier termites which develop and maintain the colony.


Drywood termites are known to invade pieces of furniture, wood flooring, the frames of homes and any other area with dried wood, which is why they are named drywood termites. Due to their tendency to build nests in wood itself rather than underground like subterranean termites, drywood termites create elaborate tunnels and chambers inside of wood which they connect by digging small tunnels to travel to and fro. These tunnels and passageways are well-maintained and cleaned as drywood termites push wood pellets out from their galleries such as frass.

Drywood termites release frassFrass is the one of the signature characteristics of the drywood termite and when found in a home, it's a major sign of a drywood termite infestation. Drywood termites leave elongated and rounded pellets either inside or under furniture. They literally push these pellets of frass from the entrance holes in an infested piece of wood and if you watch closely you could probably even see frass dropping out. After some time, frass can accumulate and pile up to the point where it can no longer be ignored.


Species of Drywood Termites

There are four common types of drywood termites that live along the concentrated zones on the southern border of the country we mentioned above. One is the
Dark western termite which is regarded as the most destructive drywood termite in the US.  They are reported to be prevalent from California and eastward to Arizona and Utah.  In these areas they have been reported to cause substantial damage to structures as well as lumber piles, furniture and telephone phones.


The light western drywood termite are common from California to Arizona. It is also known as the southern drywood termite. This termite has very similar behaviors to the western drywood termite but prefers drier conditions and higher temperatures.


In the southeast region of the US there are species known as the light southeastern drywood termite and the dark southeastern drywood termite. These species span from Florida all the way westward to Texas.


Drywood Termite Control - Treatment Methods



Some good news is that unlike subterranean termites, drywood termite infestations are not as large and only infest small areas of wood at a time. If detected early, controlling drywood termites will not require as much effort as it would to control subterranean termites. At Solutions Pest and Lawn, we recommend two effective ways to get rid of drywood termites. One is via borate wood treatment using a product called Boracare. Secondly you can drill and fill infested wood areas to eliminate drywood termite invaders. We will cover both areas below:


Treating Drywood Termites With Boracare

Coat wood with BoracareDrywood termites normally stay localized to the wood they are infesting so essentially the wood can be spot treated to kill the termites and flush them out of the wood. A fantastic product that can get this done is Boracare.


Boracare is a borate based termiticide, insecticide and fungicide  that provides long-term protection wherever it is applied. When applied to infested and unfinished wood, it seeps into the wood and eliminates any termite who comes in contact with it.


What You Need: Water, Boracare, a five gallon bucket for mixing, a paint brush or hand-pump sprayer

Step 1: Prepare the wood for treatment

Boracare only works on unfinished wood. If your wood is painted, finished or sealed in some type of way, Boracare will not be able to penetrate the wood. If this is the case you will need to try the second method which involves drilling holes in the wood and applying termite sprays or foaming products.


Step 2: Mix Up The Boracare

Using the 5 gallon bucket, mix 1 part Boracare with 1 part water. It is recommended that you use hot water to mix with Boracare. Boracare is very thick and viscous solution and needs to be mixed well and broken down.


Step 3: Treat Wood with Boracare Solution

Boracare can be painted onto the wood, sprayed on or foamed into wall voids. Choose the treatment method that best suits your preference. For more effective results, apply two coats of Boracare to each piece of infested wood.

Drill and Fill Treatment Using FiPro Aerosol


drill a hole into wood before applying termiticideWhat You Need: A power drill with ⅛ inch to a ¼ inch drillbit and a foaming termiticide (FiPro Aerosol, Alpine Termite And Ant Foam)


Step 1: Drill Holes into the Wood

Attach your drillbit and go ahead and drill holes into the infested wood where the nest is located. Holes should be drilled 8 to 10 inches apart around the entire piece of wood.


Step 2: Fill Holes With Foaming Products

Take the selected foaming termiticide and fill each of the holes you drilled with the product. Please refer to the product label for guidance on how much product to use to fill each hole.  



Step 3: Seal the Holes

Close up the holes made in the wood using a wood patch or other type of wood sealant material with a paint brush or other kind of spreading tool.


After following these steps, be patient and let the product do it’s job, you should see a drastic reduction in termites or likely a complete eradication of them within 90 days. Check periodically for termite activity for signs that the product is working.  


Drywood termites can be an expensive pest to deal with with the thousands of dollars of damage they inflict. If you see the major signs of their presence such as wing piles, tiny holes in wood, mud tubes, or fecal pellets, you have termites and need to act fast! The drywood termite control methods in this article are tested and entomologist approved. For more information on termites or help, do not hesitate to call our service line at 800-479-6583 where a live person can assist you with your order or give you helpful DIY advice. You can also email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com  or start a live chat with us on this website by clicking the apprpriate chat now button on the left hand side of your screen.


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