How to Get Rid of Drywood Termites

Drywood Termite, how to get rid of


Termites live in a colony which means that they are a social insect. Social insects have a division of labor called castes. There are 3 different common types of termites: Subterranean, Formosan, and Drywood Termites.

Drywood termites are about 1/2″ long but Drywood termite soldiers are 3/8″ long. They have soft bodes and are cylinder like in shape. They are kind of a pale brown color and have 6 legs with 4 equal wings that are longer than its body. Drywood termites will drop feces that are small, hard, and cylinder-like in the areas that are infested. Drywood termites are difficult to control because they build their nests in the wood but mostly not in the ground like the other termites.

They can do severe damage to buildings but wooden furniture as well. A male and female pair (alates) will build a tunnel in the wood to find a place to mate and the hole will be about 1/8′ in diameter and they will plug the hole with brown cement like material. Drywood termites will construct mud tunnels that are going vertically across the walls. These termites can be carried in by infested furniture and wooden objects.

Many times termites are often confused as ants. The difference between termites and ants are:

  1. Termites antennae are straight while ants are elbowed
  2. Termites have 2 pairs of wings that are in equal length and size, while ants have 2 pairs of wings unequal in length and size.
  3. Termites’ waists are thick and broad and ants are narrow and thin.

Moisture is essential to termite survival. Since moisture is so essential they will construct mud tubes that will cover the exposed areas. Termites will move up and down the soil to accumulate for their moisture needs. Termites prefer decaying wood because it can be eaten faster and it increases the moisture content.


Examine thoroughly in crawl spaces and basement walls, supporting piers and beams, sill plates, floor joists, subfloors. Pay special attention to areas where concrete steps, porches, or concrete slabs comes together with the structure.

If you find wooden dust around the walls or window/door frames, patio area then it is also a sign of termite infestation. Also swarmer termites will shed their wings so if you see large number of shredded wings then it is also a sign of infestation.

Holes inside the wood are not visible so you can just tap on the wood with your knuckles or a small hammer to hear a hollow sound because the damage wood by termites looks like regular water damage. The type of soil is important on how infested termites can be. They prefer sandy soil however they can survive in many different types of soil as well.


The main reason on why structures get infested with termites is because the wood is often in contact with the ground. When the wood has contact with the soil it supplies the termites with food, shelter, moisture, and entry into the home which is often hard to know.

The exterior wood should at least be 6″ above the ground level and may require in pulling the soil or mulch away from the structure to prevent wood to ground contact. If there is wood in your crawlspace, make sure that it is at least 18″ from the ground. Doors, stair carriages, posts, etc, and anything that is made out of wood will need to be cut off at the bottom to be supported by a concrete base. If it is unavoidable then you should treat the wood with preservation

. Termites can build tunnels over the wood surface. You should not bury wood, cardboard, paper, or any other cellulose materials because they will attract termites. Mulch and wooden chips can also attract termites because it will give them a food source and a favorable moisture conditions.

If you have to use mulch, do not apply them in contact with the foundation. Stack wooden materials, and firewood away from the structure and elevated from the ground. Vegetation should not be allowed to grow against the side of the structure because it traps moisture causing wood decay. Soil should be sloping so that the water can be drain away from the home.

Plumbing and appliance leaks can lead to damp wood in crawlspaces. You should repair leaks right away and you can place polyethylene sheeting which acts a moisture barrier over the soil in the crawlspace to reduce evaporation from the soil and condensation from the structure woods.

Ventilation vents can help reduce moisture problems dramatically. Crawl spaces should have ventilating opening around your home at every 2 sq ft per 25 linear ft of the foundation wall. One of the vents will need to be within 5 ft of each exterior corner of the building.

There are two types of ways to treat termites, but these aren¤Ô¤±¤Í¤½ the only ways just the most common. These types are: soil treatment ‘ where you will dig a trench and treat the soil also to drill a hole into the structure and apply the termiticides and bait ‘ this treatment is where you place wood bait inside a termite monitoring station and burying the station under ground.

Soil Treatment:
This treatment, you will need to treat the soil underneath you home and around the structure. We suggest that you use liquid spray (TERMIDOR SC, BORACARE TERMITE, PREMISE 2 TERMITICIDEDominion 2L ) using a hand spray

You should start treating from outside in, because the termites come from the outside, dig a trench at least 6″ deep and 6″ wide all around your structure and apply the liquid spray using the amount instructed on the label at a rate of 4 gallons per 10 linear ft.

You will also need to drill a hole on wall and on the sidewalk where it meets the structure if it is necessary and inject the liquid pray using the amount instructed on the label. When the termites are already inside your home you will need to exterminate them to stop more severe damage. So you will need to drill a hole into the wall near the infested area and apply foam (CB D-FOAM, PREMISE FOAM TERMITICIDE) or liquid spray into the drilled hole. Be cautious when you are applying the liquid spray inside the home because some of the termiticide is labeled only for outdoor use.

Termidor SC Boracare Premise 2 Dominion 2L

These products can be used with this item:

Chapin 1 gallon Sprayer
CB 80 Premise Foam

Bait Treatment:
As already stated above this treatment is where you will place a wooden bait (FIRSTLINE TERMITE DEFENSE SYSTEM REPLACEMENT WOOD, ADVANCE TERMITE MONITORING BASE , ADVANCE TERMITE INSPECTION CARTRIDGE) inside a termite monitoring station and bury the station (Advance Termite bait Station , Firstline Termite Bait Station) around the structure.

You will need to place the monitoring stations 3-4 ft apart from the structure and 10-15 ft apart from each station. Once it has been installed, make sure to check each station every 3 months (90 days) and if there is termite activity at the station, you will need to replace the wooden bait with a chemical cartridge (ADVANCE TERMITE BAIT CARTRIDGES, FIRSTLINE GT PLUS TERMITE BAIT STATIONS) which can eliminate the termites. Repeat this process continuously.

Firstline Termite Defense Advance Termite Monitoring Base Advance Termite Inspection

These products can be used with these items:

Advance Termite Monitor Bait Firstline Smartdisc

These products can be used with these items after finding active termite activity:

Advance Termite Bait Firstline GT Plus

Date: Monday, 11. January 2010 13:40
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  1. 1

    It says in the article about soil treatment to dig a trench 6′ deep by 6′ wide.
    Are you kidding? 6′ means 6feet
    Are we really talking 6 feet or 6 inches? (6″ )
    Who can dig a trench 6 feet wide by 6 feet deep around his house?

  2. 2

    Hello Andreas!

    Thank you for catching that. It is actually 6″ deep, 6″ wide.
    We will go ahead and change that right away!

  3. 3

    Can termites tunnel out? On my ceiling there was a small hole and at first it looked like a 4 inch in legnth tubular shape piece of lint but when we took it down it was a string of dust, fuzz, and termites. How do you treat that?

  4. 4

    how can i tteat drywood tsermite damage to wooden beams and boards over my backyard deck/

  5. 5

    Hi Henry Lehn,
    We recommend using Boracare. Boracare can be treated by brushing it on. It should be applied on bare wood so that it can soak through the wood. Thoroughly read the product label before applying the product. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  6. 6

    I have dry woods that come up and swarm every October. I believe that they are in my pine subfloor which can be accessed from the basement and which is bare. What is the best product to use if I spray the entire subfloor (or the ceiling in the basement)? What is the best way to apply–roller, spray? How much should be needed for a 40’x50′ space? Thank you for your help.

  7. 7

    We have termites in the interior wooden structure of our 2 man hot tub it sits on a tile deck -Our quotes for tenting are outrageous-Any suggestions?

  8. 8

    Hi Martha M,

    There are a couple of different options for you. For all termite species, surface treatment is usually not very effective, so spraying the subfloor on the surface will not provide you with extended control. You can drill holes in the isolated area of infestation and inject termiticide. We recommend Premise in either the liquid concentrate form called Premise 2 Termiticide or in the form of foam called Premise Foam Termiticide. The other option is to treat bare wood with a Borate concentrate. We recommend Boracare. However, you should keep in mind that this product should be applied on bare wood so that it will soak through the wood. You can roll on the product or brush it on. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  9. 9

    Hi Linda Wasson,
    Unfortunately, I’m unable to imagine where the termites are really infesting. If it is in the interior of the wooden structure, my best solution to that would be Premise Foam. However, we advise that you get a professional out there that can apply insecticides instead of using a tenting or vapor treatment. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  10. 10

    Is tenting one of the most effective ways to get rid of drywood termites? There is evidence of subterraneans as well but my main concern is how best to take care of the drywoods.

  11. 11

    Hi Stephanie Crump,
    Subterranean termites and drywood termites have separate and different types of treatment. Usually for drywood termites, you only have to treat the isolated area of infestation. For subterranean termites though, you have to do an all around treatment and treat the ground surrounding the structure. If you have a subterranean termite infestation on the structure itself, above ground, then you have to also treat that isolated area. Tenting and fogging is typically a suggested treatment for drywood termite infestations because sometimes, for furniture or the structure where the wood is not bare, it is ineffective to apply an insecticide. It is really only effective if you can sand down the surface of the wood to get it down to the bare wood beneath the sealer or finishing so that the insecticide can fuse with the wood. Unless you are willing to sand down the piece of furniture or the part of the structure that is infested, the only real option you have is fumigation. We do recommend contacting professionals for fumigation though. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  12. 12

    We just found termite damage in my mothers home. They are eating the ceiling tile along with the paper off of the drywall . How should we go about treating?

  13. 13

    Hi Doug beckner,
    We recommend using Premise Foam to inject into the isolated areas of infestation. I wonder if they are subterranean termites or drywood termites. I suspect though, that they are drywood. You may want to get an inspection done to identify the pest so that you can properly treat your home because even drywood termites can be rid of by treating the isolated area of infestation, subterranean termites are only completely controlled if you do the proper outdoor perimeter treatment. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  14. Ann Marie Brown
    Friday, 8. March 2013 9:10

    I’ve had bait stations since the house was built 12 years ago. Every check-up period, I receive a report from the pest control company of “no activity.” Very recently I had a problem with drywood termites, which they explained is different than the subterranean variety. I was billed a good sum for treatment of the drywoods. The next day, while I was out, the pest control company came and left a statement that they re-baited the termite stations and found no activity, and there was no charge. That seems a bit strange to me, as they’ve never done that before. Should I question them on this?

  15. 15

    Hi Ann Marie Brown,
    Termite bait stations will not have drywood termite activity because the bait stations that are set up around your house target subterranean termites that colonize in the ground. Since drywood termites do not need moisture or dirt to colonize, it is possible for you to have a drywood termite infestation and still “no activity” in the bait stations. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  16. 16

    Where do you buy the boracare for the drywall termites I would like to save money and do it myself.


  17. 17

    Hi Debbie,

    Boracare is not available in any local hardware store and can only be purchased from a licensed and registered seller. We sell Boracare online at and you can call us at 1-800-788-4142 to place an order.

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