Last month I discussed how subterranean termites had recently been spotted swarming in SaddleBrooke and this month, I would like to discuss the other type of termite you may encounter in your home: drywood termites.

As their name implies, drywood termites infest dry wood and can ravage attic framings, according to the National Pest Management Association. These light brown bugs do not need soil to survive and can form colonies of up to 2,500 members. They are commonly found in warm climates and areas with a low content of moisture. In addition, they do not require soil moisture content to live. Because they are more of a small colony insect, they are difficult to detect because their colonies are spread over a wide area.

In addition to their colonies, drywood termites typically enter homes after swarms, especially after heavy monsoon rains. Therefore, while this was an atypical monsoon season, you should be aware they also swarm during the spring and summer months, too.

Compared to subterranean termites, drywood termites can be more difficult to detect and are not typically noticeable until small piles of black pellets (their feces and unwanted cellulose) plus color of wood that is infested collect. They make their nests within the wood they consume and infest walls, columns, beams and furniture. They also attack floors, furniture and books.

The most effective prevention for drywood termites can be β€œbuilt-in” to a home during its construction phase with the installation of pressure-treated lumber wherever a builder can do so. Meanwhile, untreated wood can be sprayed with borate solutions. Once construction ends, it becomes much more difficult to completely treat all wood in a finished house with residual chemicals.

If a drywood termite infestation is suspected in your house, I suggest having a trained pest control professional conduct a thorough examination of the entire structure. As a homeowner, you should make notice of specific areas when the professional visits and keep samples of the pellets whenever possible.

In cases where a drywood termite infestation is found, liquid treatment injection of galleries in the infested areas and preventative coatings of through interior baseboard injections and attic treatment is highly effective.

Again, as I mentioned last month, when diagnosing the level of termite activity in your home, accurate identification of possible entry points from the exterior leading into the interior of your home is critical. Seeking out and determining how termites are entering your home provides a good foundation on which a trained pest control professional can assist you in determining the severity of the problem and next steps.

Paul Opocensky is the Manager for Truly Nolen in SaddleBrooke. His service office can be reached at (520) 219-2494. Founded in 1938, Tucson-based Truly Nolen of America ( is one of the largest family-owned pest control companies in the United States.

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