What Are Dry Wood Termites?


Quick Answer

Dry wood termites are a type of termite that lives in dry wood. They do not need any contact with the soil since they obtain cellulose from the wood for food. They tunnel across the wood grain as they enlarge their colony, weakening the wood's structure.

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Full Answer

Some dry wood termites have wings, while others are wingless. The winged termites are capable of reproduction. They are about 7/16 inch long including the wings and are brown to yellow in color. Immature dry wood termites don't have wings and are white to beige in color. Soldiers also lack wings but instead have enlarged mandibles used to defend the colony against invaders.

Most dry wood termites live in dead trees, branches and brush or enter man-made structures through attic or foundation vents, wooden trim or cracks in window and door frames and sills. They are rarely found in areas that experience freezing winter temperatures, being most prevalent in warmer climates.

Fecal pellets are usually the first sign of a dry wood termite infestation. These pellets are hard tubes that are less than 1/25 inch long. The ends are round, and they are six-sided due to the way the termite exerts pressure to extract all moisture from any material it consumes. Fecal pellets are pushed out of the colony through holes in infested wood and usually pile up below the termite tunnels.

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