Usually, the first sign of a drywood termite infestation is the presence of winged reproductives swarming from small openings (kick holes) in the surface of wood. These termites lose their wings quickly after swarming, but the wings are important for proper identification of drywood termites.
If swarmers are found inside a structure, then the colony is almost certainly in the structural timbers of the building. If termites are found outdoors, they may have come either from within the structure or from nearby timber or brush.
The swarmers are attracted to light and can enter homes from the outside. To confirm an infestation, search for termite bodies and wings in light fixtures and cobwebs and on window sills.
Because drywood termites live within the wood, they produce fecal pellets. During an inspection, look for piles of fecal pellets near infested wood. The pellets are generally the color of the wood on which the termites feed. These pellets are about 1⁄32 inch long and modest magnification will show long dimples or flutes down each surface. The pellets appear to be sixsided, blunt at one end and pointed at the other.
- Creamy white to dark brown/black
- Long, narrow and oval
- 1/8 inch long
- Found in coastal, southern, and southwestern states.