Drywood termites are difficult to detect. They live deep inside wood and except during periods when they swarm or when repair work is being done on infested homes, they are seldom seen. The most common sighting of drywood termites is when flying adults (or “swarmers”) are seen during daytime hours in summer and fall. Dampwood termites also can swarm during summer and fall, but they can be differentiated from the western drywood termite based on their larger size and attraction to lights at dark.
Because of the difficulty in detecting drywood termites and determining the extent of the damage, do-it-yourself treatments are not recommended. In addition, the products needed for controlling these pests are not available for homeowner use. Except for wood removal, homeowners should seek help for infestations of drywood termites from pest control professionals.
The revised Pest Note: Drywood Termites by Vernard Lewis, UC Berkeley, Andrew Sutherland, UC IPM SF Bay Area, and Michael Haverty, UC Berkeley, will help provide homeowners with sufficient background information so they can better discuss treatment options with their pest control professional.