All posts in “Drywood Termites”

Drywood Termites

Drywood Termites

Drywood Termites are not a real BIG problems here in Arizona because Drywoods  get all their water from the wood. The most obvious sign of termites are the pellets they leave behind. Subterranean Termites use their fecal material with their waste to build tunnels and tubes. The fecal pellets from these termites are rounded with concave grooves, primarily from their anal glands reducing the amount of water escaping.


Subterranean termites eat with the grain of the wood, while Drywood Termites  eat across the grain. You can always tell subs versus drywoods – dirt or soil is always included with damage of subs. I remember a building Daytona Beach, Florida – huge building with multiple floors and upstairs wood floor with piles of Drywood pellets. They were obvious little pyramids all over the floors. In this case the only (only method to absolutely get rid of them is fumigation. You tent the entire building and put gas inside. Here is Arizona you can get lucky from time to time and find the termites.


On occasion I have found them in windows and or walls. Either take out the wood or use a product that can seep into the wood. This can only occur if the wood has never been painted or varnished. You can spray, paint or foam the unsealed wood, just follow label instructions. As you can imagine these Drywood Termites are quite common in areas with water like Florida and California. However, you won’t find them in colder climates and the actual size of the colony is limited to about 3000. Subterranean termites can usually have over 1 million, while Formosan termites (another type of Subterranean) can have 16 million or more.

Remember that the bugs will inherit the earth, one way or another they will be here forever. So call ProBest for all your bug needs 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176

OK what do you see?

Well if you guessed Drywood termites pellets, you guessed right? Those little brownish colored things at the bottom of the picture are the fecal remains of wood eaten by Drywood termites. Subterranean termites mix their fecal material with the mud/soil and construct mud tunnels or tubes while Drywood termite fecal pellets are kicked out of their colony. These little pellets have little ridges and are fairly easy to identify. Drywood termites which are located within structures are often tented and just a side-note not usually a very big deal in Arizona but we do have them here. The more water we bring in, such as flood or drip irrigation helps to increase the humidity level and allow these termites to gain a strong-hold here. Even after a fumigation takes place, those pellets will continue to fall out – so the only real way to know that you still have them is by an actual swarm. Just one more thing to keep you from sleeping!

By the way this is generally not a “Do It Yourself” project, unless you are able to remove all the wood. In the case above it was a small shed, which I would just remove and rebuild. Which by the way falls into my model of IPM.


Termite facts from NPMA – Termite Awareness Week

Termite Facts

  •       Termites are wood-destroying insects whose presence dates back to the dinosaurs.
  •        Termites are known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected.
  •       There are about 2,000 known species of termites in the world.
  •       The most common termite species found in the United States are subterranean termites, Formosan termites, dampwood termites, drywood termites.
  •        Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive species of termite as they eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  •        Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage.
  •    Termite colonies can have upwards of 2 million members.
  •        Termites are present in 70 percent of countries across the world and their population outnumbers human beings on a ratio of ten to one.
  •         The queen termite can lay up to 40,000 eggs per day.

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Pest on the move, how do we stop them?


Think about this, how did Hawaii get any pests or wildlife? What are some key obstacles in bugs or wildlife getting to an island? Those ships that started stopping by Hawaii brought many of the pests that they see daily. The Hawaiian government is working hard to stop some recent newcomers including the Coffee Cherry Borer and Little Fire Ant. Is there a way to stop them, probably not but maybe we can slow the destruction.

Hawaii lawmakers weigh killing invasive insects.” This isn’t the first invasive critter to hit the shores of Hawaii, rodents and termites can be seen daily throughout the islands. The key is to stay ahead of the insect if possible, isolate and determine if quarantine can work.


I’m sure I’m checking out some bug.


What’s eating your house?


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There are so many things that can cause you to have those sleepness nights, so worring about what’s eating your home shouldn’t have to be one of those things. So whose got your back? Well,  ProBest Pest Management if you have one of our warranties. The pictures above are just one more reason why wood shouldn’t touch the soil and you should be able to clearly see the foundation slab.

Subterranean termites (western) – live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas aboveground that can contain up to 250,000 members. They build distinctive “mud tubes” to gain access to food sources and to protect themselves from open air.

Wood Rot – A wood-decay fungus is a variety of fungus that digests moist wood, causing it to rot. Some wood-decay fungi attack dead wood, such as brown rot -is a dry crumbly condition sometimes incorrectly referred to as dry rot in general. The term brown rot replaced the general use of the term dry rot, as wood must be damp to decay, although it may become dry later.

Powderpost Beetles – The term “powderpost” comes from the fact that the larvae of these beetles feed on wood and, given enough time, can reduce it to a mass of fine powder. Powderpost beetles spend months or years inside the wood in the larval stage. Items that can be infested by powderpost beetles include wooden artifacts, frames, furniture, tool handles, gun stocks, books, toys, bamboo, flooring, and structural timbers. If an item is brought into a home this beetle could reinfest the entire structure.

Drywood termites are social insects that live in colonies in sound, dry wood. Each colony consists of offspring from an original pair and cut across the grain while subterranean termites usually go with the grain.



What has smooth galleries and small pellets?

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What has smooth galleries and small 6 sided pellets?

Drywood termites do and yes I found them under a crawlspace in downtown Mesa, Arizona.


Drywood termites are social insects that live in colonies in sound, dry wood. Each colony consists of offspring from an original pair (male and female). There are three growth stages – eggs, immatures and adults. Drywood termites are larger than local, southwestern subterranean species. Drywood termites tend to cut across wood grain destroying both the soft spring wood and the harder summer growth. Subterranean termites typically follow the grain of the wood, feeding primarily on the soft spring wood. Since they don’t live in the soil you must either get rid of the wood, if possible or fumigate. Some liquid treatments may work as long as the wood has not been painted or varnarished.

Drywood Termites in Arizona

Drywood Termites in Arizona


So I’m guessing you probably think there are no Drywood Termites here in Arizona and you would be wrong. When people starting moving to the Wild West they started doing what humans do really well – they started to adapt to the heat and climate. They brought stuff with them and they started to plant things, creating a more abundant use of water. More pools, more fountains, drip and flood irrigation and the Central Arizona Project (that is the water supply for Arizona).

More water = more humidity and that equals the presence of Drywood Termites.Typically found down town and in older areas of Mesa.


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As you can see from the pictures above, smooth galleries and across the grain. We were fortunate in that the termites were only in the trim board but we treated with TimBor.

Andon did a super job of removing, treating and correcting the issue. Master carpenter and Drywood Termite treater.

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Did you know there were Drywood Termites in Arizona?

You really have to be on the game with termite control, part 2

You really have to be on the game with termite control, part 2


Two different termite inspections this week and did they put me to the test.




Warehouse, we did locate Subterranean termites on the ceiling but about 25 feet away from this location. The difficult part was that there were walking planks everywhere and didn’t always allow for a great inspection. I found these tubes near a bathroom, so I’m pretty sure they are either coming a crack or the bath-trap to the sink. The inspection process is what really matters and you must be on your A game everyday……..

You really have to be on the game with termite control, part 1

You really have to be on the game with termite control, part 1


Two different termite inspections this week and did they put me to the test.

Normally my first guess is that we are dealing with Drywood termites, usually Drywood’s are brown in color but I’m glad I dug deeper into this swarm. Just to set the record straight we don’t encounter swarming termites like they do the east coast, I ran into one a few years back in Mesa so that is 2 in 7 years. These little termites also made a swarm at around 4 pm to 7 pm and generally speaking – Subterranean termites 11 am – 2 pm and Drywood’s 4 pm – 7pm and I’ll mention Formosan termites from 11 pm to midnight (give or take). So the clues are building, these termites swarmed from a vent in the laundry room, I checked the attic but nothing visible and then after cleaning and taking a few samples I had that ah ha moment. At the very corner of the laundry room behind the washer I thought I noticed some peeling of the baseboard. I pulled out the washer and started to dig and I found the termites and guess what – they were subterranean termites not Drywood’s. So you can’t judge a termite by it’s color…..

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