Unlike the Subterrean termite, drywood termites do not require any contact with the soil. They live in undecayed wood with a low moisture content.
Drywood termites are in distinct forms or castes - reproductives, workers, and soldiers. Each performs a separate biological function. Only the reproductive drywood termites are winged (4 wings).
Their are no workers in the drywood termite group - instead the young reproductives and soldiers serve as workers until they mature. The vast majority in the drywood termite colony is the worker caste and the workers and the reproductives have chewing mouthparts especially adapted for chewing wood. In drywood termites, it is the workers who do the wide-spread destruction. The soldiers have powerful mandibles to attack their enemies (usually ants).
Male and Female reproductives up to 1/2 inch long.
Drywood termites have bodies soft and cylindrical in shape, usually pale brown in color; six legged; they have compound eyes and chewing type mouthparts. During the winged stage there are 4 equal size wings that extend longer than the body by 1/8-1/4 inch.
Drywood Termites - Soldier 3/8 inch;
Wood and occasionally other cellulose materials. They eat wood in houses, utility poles, furniture and dying trees.
They can not digest the cellulose directly. They have other microorganisms (protozoans and bacteria) in their stomachs that help break down the cellulose which then can be digested by their own metabolism.
Drywood termites live in small social colonies in dry wood. They mate and fly to new dry wood areas; enter a small hole in the wood and start to form a colony. In the first year, colony size may be only around 50. After 4 years, there may be as many as 700 individual drywood termites in one colony. At this time, the colony may swarm to start the cycle over again. After 15 years, the drywood termite colony will have grown to approximately 3,000 individuals. Drywood termites do not need a source of water and live off of the water that is produced from the digestion of the cellulose.
Drywood termites infest dry, undecayed wood, including structural lumber as well as dead limbs of native trees and shade and orchard trees, utility poles, posts, and lumber in storage.
The Drywood termites variety have a low moisture requirement and can tolerate dry conditions for prolonged periods. They remain entirely above ground and do not connect their nests to the soil.
From these areas, winged reproductives seasonally migrate to nearby buildings and other structures usually on sunny days during fall months.
Drywood termites are usually found in the humid coastal and subtropical regions (i.e. California, Hawaii, Florida, Arizona, South and North Carolina, New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Puerto Rico). They usually infest attic spaces or exterior wood members exposed to them when they swarm in early spring or summer.
1. Shed wings
2. Ejected pellets
3. Galleries inside wood are typical signs of a drywood termite infestation.
4. Swarming ants are many times confused with drywood termites, but their differences are easy to recognize. At: Differences between ants and termites ,you will find a list and chart showing you the difference.
Piles of their fecal pellets, which are distinctive in appearance, may be a clue to their presence.
Picture from: © 1996 The Regents of the University of California
Fecal pellets of dampwood and drywood termites. are elongate (about 0.03 inch long) with rounded ends and have six flattened or roundly depressed surfaces separated by six longitudinal ridges.
Treatment for drywood termites consists of:
1.Structural fumigation. This is done by a certified pest control operator. The entire building is covered tightly with a fumigation cover and a sulfuryl fluoride(Vikane) or methyl bromide gas is fumigated.
2.Direct Wood Treatment (Spot treatments) To prepare for use of a a liquid, aerosol, or dust formulation, holes are drilled into the infested timbers through the termite galleries, using a 1/2 " drill in larger timbers and smaller drills elsewhere. Termite insecticide is then forced through these holes to be dispersed through the galleries. DRIONE DUST is labeled for such use. Dusts should be injected in the galleries in small amounts.
When treating limited infestations, aerosols like INVADER and Drione dust may be used. If you inject a water-based insecticide in a wooden beam..it may produce a favorable site for decay fungi. From: UC Pest Management Guidelines - Drywood Termites, you will find information on detection, whole structure vs. spot treatments, eliminating existig infestations, whole structure treatments and long term preventive treatments.
Another very good site to consult about drywood termites and the options you have can be found at :
Drywood options..Univ. of Florida
Because of their abliltiy to live in wood without soil contact, non subterranean termites, like the drywood termite, powder post beetles, or dampwood termites, are frequently carried in infested furniture and other wooden objects into geographical areas where they are not normally found.
As the name implies, drywood termites establish in dry, sound wood that may have as little as 3 percent moisture content. Drywood termites are not dependent upon a constant moisture supply as are the subterranean termite types.
One of the common symptoms of drywood termites attack is the accumulation of tiny, straw-colored fecal pellets inside or beneath infested furniture. These pellets sift from small holes in the surface of infested wood or are pushed out through small round openings maintained by the drywood termites for this purpose. The hard fecal pellets have six distinct, concave surfaces. Presence of pellets does not prove damaged wood is currently infested, as pellets continue to sift from furniture for many years after drywood termites are controlled or die. However, large, consistent accumulations of pellets are a convincing sign the termites are still active.
Spray and allow it to penetrate the wood.
Drywood Termites and Powder post beetles can be killed by either extreme heating or freezing. It would need 1.5 hours in a heated chamber of 150 degrees F or4 hours in a chamber of 140 degrees F. You can also use freezing temperatures to kill these insects. Exposure at 156 degrees F for four days will kill them. You will need to take care that either extreme of temperature would not damage the article.
Pacific dampwood termites (at times called a "rottenwood termite") is a major pest at low altitudes along the coastal areas of California, Washington and Oregon.
Dampwood termites winged reproductives are dark brown with brown wings. Soldiers have a flattened brown or yellowish brown head with elongated black or dark brown mandibles. Nymphs are cream-colored with a characteristic spotted abdominal pattern caused by food in their intestines.
Dampwood termites nest in wood buried in the ground.
In nature, they are commonly found in tree stumps and fallen tree branches. In your home the most likely areas to find them would be an older wood deck, leaky roof eaves, leaky showers or tubs, or substructures with inadequate ventilation or plumbing leaks.
The Dampwood termite is much larger than the subterranean and drywood termites, measuring in at 3/8 to 3/4 of an inch. They can swarm periodically throughout the year and it is common to see the swarming reproductives caught in spider webs next to exterior lights since they are instinctively attracted to light.
The work of the colony is done by the immature soldiers or reproductives, there is no worker caste.
They produce a fecal pellet similar to drywood termite, but it is slightly larger and has a more irregular shape. Damage in wood can be identified by a velvelty appearance in the galleries.
Dampwood termites produce distinctive fecal pellets that are rounded at both ends, elongate, but lacking clear longitudinal ridges common to drywood termite pellets; flattened sides are noticeable.
The Nevada dampwood termites are slightly smaller and darker than the Pacific species; reproductives are about 3/4 inch long.
The Nevada dampwood termite occurs in the higher, drier mountainous areas of the Sierras where it is an occasional pest in mountain cabins and other forest structures; it also occurs along the northern California coast. It differs from the Pacific dampwood in being subterranean in "habit". It attacks only moist wood. This termite is of horticultural importance because it frequently attacks the underground parts os shrubs an young trees. It occurs often in citrus groves.It is also found in fence posts, baseboards and door frames of buildings. Flights occur in July and August in evenings after rains.
The Florida dampwood termite is found in the exterme southeastern counties of Florida and in the keys. It lives naturally in damp( but solid) logs near salt water, and is common pest of buildings in this limited area. It is not subterranean by nature, although it may enter logs beneath the soil.
Control of Dampwood Termites:
Chemical treatment may be not necessary for the control of dampwood termites. Since the dampwood termite requires wood with a high moistrure content, correction of the moisture source is necessary. This normally means replacing the exising infested and saturated wood in conjunction with elimination of the moisture source.
Common correction methods:
In this section we will discuss four types of Powderpost beetles
in four families: Lyctidae, Bostrichidae, Anobiidae, and Cerambycidae. Adults
do little damage, it is the larvae that does the major part of the damage.They
go through a complete metamorphosis: adults, eggs, larvae and pupae.
True Powderpost Beetles(Lyctidae):
The adults are very small, less than 1/4" in size. They are flattened and reddish-brown to black in color. Larvae are white, cream colored, c shaped with dark brown heads. Larvae create tunnels in the wood and become pupae. As adults they bore out through the wood, pushing a fine powdery dust out.The shape of their holes are round ,about 1/32-1/16 pinholes.
hardwoods depositing their eggs. They can attack bamboo(technically a grass),but
because of the large pores they will attack. Their diet is starch, sugar and
protein in the sapwood of hardwoods Wood that is less than 6% moisture content
is seldom attacked .The life cycle averages one year to complete .This wood-boring
beetle is the most widespread in the United States. Many times infestations
are built into structures from infested lumber .They can reinfest.
Lycid damage is characterized by:
False Powderpost Beetle(Bostrichidae)
They are larger than other families of powderpost beetles...so their exit holes are larger. These holes do not contain frass,but the galleries do. The frass is tightly packed, tends to stick together and is meal like( contains no pellets)
The adults are 1/8-to 1-inch long, cylindrical, and reddish brown to black. The adults bore into the wood in order to lay eggs, leaving a hole larger that 1/8 inch, usually in wood less than 10 years old.
The larvae are curved and wrinkled. Their diet is dependent on the starch in the wood, they are more common in softwood ,but can attack hardwoods. They require 6-30% moisture content in the wood, and complete the average life cycle in one year.
Most of the hardwoods attacked are not those commonly found used for interior floors,woodwork or trim. Most of this species does not reinfest wood after it is seasoned, so the damage is limited to that inflicted by one generation.
However the speed of the damage can be considerable.
of the time they do not reinfest wood after it has been seasoned. They are
often found in oak, firewood and furniture.
Anobiid Powderpost Beetle (Anobiidae)- Furniture and Deathwatch Beetles
Tthe funiture beetle is found mostly in the eastern half of the United States and it infests structural timbors as well. The Death-watch beetel is found trhroughout the United States. It attacks building timbers in poorly ventilated areas where moisture tends to collect.
The name"Death watch" comes from the ticking sound that the adult makes inside infested wood that is audible during a still night. It is a mating call.
The insect is a common pest in the southeastern United States in crawl space timbers. Infestations can become so severe, that loss of structural strength to sills , joists, and subflooring occurs.
The Adults are 1/8-1/4 inch long. They are red to dark brown in color and their shaped is usually oval. The adults lay their eggs in the cracks and crevices of seasoned wood. As soona as they hatch, larvae burrow ito the wood where they live and tunnel for a year or more.
The larvae form tunnels in both softwoods and hardwoods They require 13-30% moisture content.
The larvae are slightly curved and wrinkled, with tiny hairs on the body.
Their holes are round,1/16-1/8 inches. They can digest cellulose from the wood. They are inclined to the softwoods ,for this reason they are common in crawl spaces and basements ,infesting the pine used as framing lumber.
The powder outside the holes (frass) is fine to coarse, many times with small pellets. The life cycle averages 1-3 years.
reinfest crawl space areas that are poorly ventilated and humidity is absorbed
in the wood.
Old House Borer(from the family Cerambycidae)
The Old House Borer is one of the most common from this family,
with it's larvae hollowing out galleries in seasoned softwood(pine). It is
found in older buildings, but is more frequent in newer buildings,(in houses
less than 10 years old).The adults are brownish-black to black, slightly
flattened and about 3/4-1 inch long.
The average life cycle is usually one to three years, but can take up to twelve years if nutritional and environmental conditions are unfavorable. Because of the long life cycle, reinfesting the wood it may take years before you see any structural damage .
The exit holes are about 1/4-3/8-inch in diameter, but damage may have occurred for several years before spotting such holes. They are able to digest cellulose.
has been infested with fungi, the larval development is faster. Their powder
(frass) in the tunnels are like sawdust ,tightly packed.
TIMBOR is a powder that mixes with water. One lb.is mixed with one gallon of water and sprayed to the surface area of in infestation. When sprayed it penetrates the entire wood, where it will remain for several years .An alternative to Timbor is:
BORACARE. Boracare is a liquid borate that
penetrates faster initially than the Timbor for first few hours but is equal after that..Timbor is considerabley cheaper per gallon use.
Carpenter ants are quite large, from 1/4 o 3/8" long; dark brown to black,
but some may have a red or yellowish coloration. The usual carpenter ant is large and black..but you can have the Florida Carpenter ant, which is smaller with a range in colors...yellow, red brown or black..
Carpenter ants are quite large, from 1/4 o 3/8" long; dark brown to black, but some may have a red or yellowish coloration. The usual carpenter ant is large and black..but you can have the Florida Carpenter ant, which is smaller with a range in colors...yellow, red brown or black..
They eat a variety of plant and animal foods and sweets. These ants will also feed on other insects. They do not digest wood.
Being social insects,they have different forms of "castes" in their colonies. Mature colonies have winged a nd wingless queens, winged males, two sizes of wingless workers, and immature stages(eggs,larvae and pupae).
They do swarm and mate during the springtime.
A carpenter ant colony may contain a main nest and one or more"satellite" nests.
During the winter months, the ones outside are inactive.
They are nocturnal. There activity peaks between 8:00 p.m. and 4 a.m.Their ideal temperature for habitation is between 71 degrees to 74 degrees F. It would be advantageous to inspect at these times and temperature conditions.
They usually nest outside in moist wood or partially decayed
wood in that they prefer the "softened wood" to hollow out their nests called
They may establish nests in a number of different locations.
HOW TO DETECT GALLERIES:
Many times you can
see "sawdust" near these carpener ant galleries.
FORAGING CARPENTER ANTS FROM THE OUTSIDE:
Many times the ones that you see inside your home are simply foraging for food, you won't see large numbers typically.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS AND TREATMENT:
A good PERIMETER TREATMENT, as a defense, with a residual insecticide such as
ANT TRAILS AND BAITING:
An excellent article(by Univ. of Florida Extension Service can be found at Ant Trails:Baiting.. It gives an overview of management with baits.
Treating these ants effectively depends, most of the time upon finding the nests and treating them directly, to eliminate the entire colony.This is the best way.
If you are not sure of where the colonies are to treat them directly...BAITING is the best alternative.
Inspect wooden structures associated with high moisture., where there may be water damage-producing softened wood. They like windows and door frames and sills, as well as tub enclosure walls, and kitchen and bath plumbing walls. Many times you can observe carpenter ants more after sunset, when there activity is increased, particularly in the spring and summer months. You may want to use a flashlight to observe any obvious trails and patterns.
The recommended treatment for these ants would be a baits,like:
It is important to remove other competing food sources that could interfere with the carpenter ants not taking the bait..but wanting the other food materials.
However if you can determine where their nests are you can use an aerosol with a crack and crevice tip such as:
POSSIBLE STEPS FOR :CARPENTER ANT PREVENTION
For more information regarding general pests, go to PEST INFORMATION
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