The Signs of Drywood Termites Infestation: Drywood Termite Droppings

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Termites are primitive insects feeding on plant food. Mainly it is cellulose.

Remember that drywood termites in a house can do harm to any object that contains cellulose: furniture, books, grass and leaves, living trees and decor items.

They live mainly in the tropics where the climate is dry and hot. But not only in tropics but also in other climatic zones drywood termites live, causing damages annually in millions of dollars.

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Like all other social insects like bees and ants, termites live in colonies and the number of mature individuals can reach from several hundreds to several millions forming colonies, and including different castes.

A typical colony consists of larvae (nymphs), workers, soldiers and winged reproductives.

Where to look for signs of infestation with drywood termites? How to inspect a house?

Foto 2Early detection is very important in order to limit the extent of the damage caused by drywood termites, although it is quite difficult to do.

Homeowners see drywood termites quite seldom, which live in underground nests and eat the wooden elements. However, there are ways to detect their presence.

If you live in a region that suffers from invasion of these parasites, follow the following tips to detect damage caused by termites.

Where to look for signs of termites?

Termites live in dry wood out of contact with ground as they need very little moisture. All these termites have wings and settle in a tree from the air above ground level.

They build nests in:

  • timber frame;
  • in the casing;
  • window frames;
  • in trees;
  • in the attic;
  • in the ceilings and floors;
  • in any wooden furniture and other wooden items.

A pair of winged termites appear in a wooden element through a crack and make tunnel into the core where they build a nest. To see them, except for the moment when they move to another wooded element, is almost impossible.

Their presence can be notice quite difficult, for example by solids of digested wood. Therefore, it’s important to examine everything properly especially places where they are likely to appear.

How to inspect a house?

Foto 3So, what are the evidences of drywood termites in house?

  1. Look for visible signs of termite infestation (frass, tunnels, dry sawdust, discarded wings, etc.).
  2. Check eaves or any wooden siding or exterior trim, window and door frames, window sills, roof eaves. Examine the sound of porch roofs, stair carriages and trellises. Sometimes painted wooden surfaces look blistered if termites tunnel are close to the surface.
  3. Performing the periodic inspection of the house, take a large screwdriver and beat with it the sections of the wooden elements. If the tree seems to be hollow, it might be ruined with insects feeding on them.
  4. If you suspect a termite infestation somewhere, try to cut the piece of wood. If you see holes and tunnels, there are likely to have been done by drywood termites.

Signs of Infestation with drywood termites

As it was noticed above, drywood termites are quite difficult to be discovered. However, there are some visible signs which can help to see them and to find their nest.

Attention: Visible traces of drywood termite appear only 2-3 years after they have appeared.
  • swarms;
  • pellets/droppings/frass;
  • falling/caving floors.


Of course the first and the most noticeable sign that there is infestation with drywood termites is swarms. When a drywood termite colony is mature, swarms of winged male and female reproductive insects are produced.
These reproductive termites fly out of their colony to create new colonies after mating.

This is the only time when termites come out in the open.

Warm temperatures and heavy rains instigate swarms.

Since termites are usually hidden from sight, the type of infection is easier to be identified by winged insects.

Drywood termite’s frass, droppings and pellets

Wood termites live inside of wooden constructions, including the structural beams, furniture and hardwood floors. Due to the fact that they live in places where they feed themselves, they are almost never seen out of the colony.

Nevertheless, they leave traces of their presence. Wood termites push fecal balls and litter out of their tunnels and chambers. These barrows are the color of wood (dark) (drywood termite pellets) and they are accumulated on the floor under the infected section of the tree.

What do drywood termite droppings look like?

The droppings are very small looking like sand or granules and about 1-2 mm in diameter, but they can be observed and detected with careful examination.

It is important that pellets and droppings do not always a 100% sign of a drywood termite infestation. This has to be checked, because it is possible that they already left the place.

Falling/caving floors

As the main food of termites is wood and wooden objects, they are often found in hardwood floors. Because of holes and tunnels that are made by drywood termites floors fall and cave.

That is another sign of infestation with termites. They dig large sections; eat the length and breadth of wood. Damage from them looks very serious. When it is detected, be very careful. You must immediately replace the damaged boards or else it will fall one day.


Drywood termite droppings (frass, pellets) pictures:

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How often house inspection should be done on the subject of drywood termites?

As it had already been mentioned, it is necessary to conduct a very thorough check for termites. If termites are discovered, it is necessary to assess the extent of damage and decide whether urgent measures to restore or design the furniture should be taken.

The purpose of the home inspection, which is recommended to be done every 1-2 years (as a colony of drywood termites usually develop slowly enough) – preventing the appearance of termites and damage of wooded surfaces.

If you discover contamination at an early stage, then perhaps you can simply replace the ruined items with new ones.

As for measures that will help to get rid of already existing termites, they are:

  • fumigation;
  • hot and cold treatment;
  • chemical treatment;
  • microwaves;
  • electrocution and others.

If you doubt your abilities, you’d better contact a specialized firm that will do everything for you and in extreme cases, will help to get rid of drywood termites.

Here you can learn more information about effective treatment method called tenting (fumigation): dangers for termites, preparing for fumigation and cleaning after, how long does this procedure last?

Measures that will help to prevent the appearance of termites

  • Protect the wood surface from the outside of the house in all the places where drywood termites can penetrate.
  • To avoid drywood termite infestation, there is no need to treat the soil as they don’t live in the land but in the wood.
  • Use these structural elements for the house: pressed wood, steel or concrete and brick veneer.
  • Handle the identified nests with poisonous dust or special chemicals which are for sale.
  • If the house is affected significantly, then it should be completely treated with chemicals. This work should be performed by professionals because these chemicals may be harmful to animals, people and bushes. As this treatment does not affect the internal structure of the wood, the termites may reappear after some time.

Useful articles

If you interested in more information of termites we recommend you to read the following articles:

Helpful video

Learn how to recognize the signs indicating that your home might be infested with drywood termites:


As you can see that termites are quite active insects, which can do harm and cause substantial damage to the dwelling.

Therefore, mandatory measures should be applied to prevent the appearance of these insects.

It’s better to spend a little more money on prevention than to fight with termites who has already multiplied into thousands in colonies.

In case, if drywood termites are already “host” in the house, then don’t delay it. You should immediately take measures to eliminate them.

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