Drywood termites are found around the world throughout the tropics. They consume dry wood and are often found in residential roof materials and within the wooden wall supports of homes and other buildings. These termites can also infest any dead wood that you have lying around near your home.
Though termites are small, they can cause as much as $5 billion in property damage every year (in just the United States!) That’s a lot of damage. Unfortunately, since they’re so small, termites are often overlooked until they create a full-blown infestation and do a lot of hidden structural damage to your home or commercial building. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to spot signs of drywood termites in and around your property.
Look for These Signs of Drywood TermitesWhen you know how to recognize signs of a termite infestation, you can quickly take action to get rid of the problem before significant damage is caused by the little pests. If your area is prone to termite infestations, it’s important to inspect your home or commercial building regularly. Look for these seven common signs of drywood termites.
1. Flying Termites
One obvious sign of a termite infestation is the visible presence of flying termites. Winged termites can be both males and females, and they’re responsible for leaving their nests to establish new colonies. So if you see any flying termites on your property, watch out! They’re most likely looking for a new home, and you don’t want it to be yours!
2. Small Bugs That Look Like White Ants
Some people see drywood termites but think they are small, white ants. If you see white or cream-colored “ants” near your home or commercial building, you may have a termite infestation. Termites sometimes look transparent. They also have straight antennae instead of the curved antennae of ants. Termites are also much thicker through the waist area than ants. Finally, there are no species of white ants, so any white ant-like bug you see is likely a termite.
3. Termite Droppings
Drywood termites leave droppings (called frass) behind. This is one of the most common indications of a termite infestation. As the termites consume wood, they create fecal matter. To dispose of this fecal matter, they push it out of the tunnels they make in wood. The feces pile up outside the termite nests and can be easily spotted if you know what you’re looking at.
The droppings left by drywood termites are very fine. Many people mistake them for sawdust. But if you haven’t been sawing anything in your home or office building, there is no reason for there to be sawdust inside. If you see it unexpectedly, look around for telltale signs of termite burrows. These could be tiny holes in your wood paneling or any other wood structures. Often, there is a dark powdery substance left directly around the outside of termite holes.
4. Hollow Wood
Termites like to consume the inside portions of wood while leaving the outside portions somewhat intact. So if you’re trying to find out if you have drywood termites on your property, look for branches, logs and other pieces of wood that are hollow on the inside. Hollowed-out wood is very lightweight and may feel or look papery. Termites also use the same eating pattern to consume the inside portion of chair legs, bedposts and other types of wood furniture.
Some common horror stories involving termites include accidentally pressing a finger right through a termite-consumed door frame or lightly bumping a skirting board with a vacuum cleaner and breaking right through the board due to termite damage.
5. Fallen Termite Wings
Even if you don’t actually see termites flying around your house or building, you may notice fallen termite wings. Discarded wings are a sign of a serious infestation. Soon after finding a mate, swarmer termites lose their wings. So if you see fallen termite wings, it means there are termites on your property that are getting ready to start a new colony (if they haven’t started one already). This is the time to schedule pest control services without delay.
6. Clicking Noises in Your Walls
One of the most annoying signs of drywood termites is clicking sounds in your walls at night. These noises occur when the termites bang their heads against the wood to warn the colony of danger. Clicking noises can also be caused by termites simply shaking their bodies. And of course, the chewing sounds termites make as they consume the wood in your home or building can be quite loud when it’s multiplied by hundreds or thousands of little bodies.
If you hear unusual clicking sounds coming from your walls, press your ear against the wall and listen closely. You’ll soon be able to tell if the sounds are really coming from inside your walls or from somewhere else.
7. Doors That Are Hard To Open
As drywood termites eat through the wood of your doors, warping is a common result. Warped doors tend to become stiff when they’re closing or opening. Termites also create a lot of moisture within wood as they consume it. It’s easy to confuse this damage with damp weather, but take a closer look to rule out a termite infestation. You may also discover that your wood window frames are harder to open or close when you’re dealing with a termite infestation.
Schedule Your Pest Service for Drywood TermitesIf you have any of the above signs of drywood termites, it’s essential to do something about it as quickly as possible. Termites can multiply at an alarming rate. They are also voracious eaters and can quickly consume massive amounts of wood within your home or office building. Many homeowners discover (too late) how serious a “small” termite problem can quickly become.
To protect the structure of your home or building while also protecting your bank account, look for signs of termite problems regularly. If you are ever suspicious of termites, contact Bug Ninja at your earliest convenience. We’ll get you scheduled for our leading pest control services as soon as possible so you no longer have to worry about the damage drywood termites are causing to your property.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.