Dry Wood Termites - Casner Exterminating
Central Coast 800-655-4044

Dry Wood Termites

December 8, 2014

Family Structure

  • After the mating “dance,” Dry Wood Termites seek openings in nearby wood and chew a small tunnel which they close before digging a chamber where they mate
  • After three to four years, the colony may have as many as 1,000 members
  • Swarmers may leave the colony when it is approximately four years old
  • Swarming typically takes place about midday on warm (80°F) days
  • Peak of the swarm usually takes place after a quick temperature rise
  • Swarming typically occurs from September through October
  • Swarmers often stay in groups in the dozens and sometimes several hundred
  • Night Swarmers will be drawn in by lights


  • Swarmers: about 1/2″ long including wings
  • Wings: 3/8″ long.
  • Head and first segment of the thorax: orange brown
  • Abdomen: dark brown
  • Front portion of the wing: three dark, heavily hardened veins
  • Soldiers: Forehead slopes down gradually from the top of the head
  • Head is flat to slightly rounded from a side view
  • Head: orange to reddish brown with a whitish eye spot
  • Jaws: unequal number of teeth on each pair
  • Antenna: third segment is greatly enlarged and club-like

Where Found

  • Southwestern states, from Sacramento down the coast of California


  • Considered nonsubterranean termites because they do not live in or require any contact with the ground or build any mud tubes for shelter
  • Live in timber with moisture content of less than 12%
  • Gallery and tunnel walls are very smooth; no soil present
  • Generally, there are fecal pellets present
  • Pellets are hard, under 1/32″ long, oval-shaped with round ends
  • Distinctive signs of their fecal pellets: six concave sides
  • Live in small colonies compared to subterranean termite colonies
  • Colony usually numbers about 3,000 individuals after 10 to 15 years
  • Nymphs can fulfill all tasks usually handled by workers


  • Accounts for most of the Dry Wood Termite damage in California
  • Severe damage may be caused when you have multiple colonies in your house
  • Often move from one place to another being transported in picture frames and raw wood
  • Evidence of an infestation: Swarmers, shed wings, piles of pellets, termite plugs that seal all openings in infested wood, surface blisters caused by large colonies very close to the wood surface
  • Swarming termites fly into structures and directly infest wood
  • When swarming, often reinfest the same structure
  • First infest exposed wood, e.g., window and door frames, trim, eaves and attics
  • Find a protected crevice or other area, such as the joint between two pieces of wood or where shingles hang over wood or molding, and attack the wood

Contact Us

Contact us for help with a Dry Wood Termite problem. You may also call either our Central Coast office or our Ventura County office.

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