How Drywood Termites Enter Your Home – Entire Process Explained

Not all termites unleash destruction in your home and property in the same way. 

Depending on the species of the termites, there are different ways termites wreak havoc.

And so do the drywood termites.

In this guide, you’ll find out how drywood termites enter your home.

You’ll also learn the signs that tell you that your home is under drywood termite invasion.

Plus, you’ll find out ways to eliminate the risk of drywood termite invasion on your home.

Keep reading.

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Two Ways Termites Invade Your Home

Before you zero-in to how drywood termites enter your home, let’s find out what are the two major ways termites invade your home.

Two most common termites that destroy homes and property in the US are the subterranean termites and the drywood termites.

There’s also one species of termites, which is known as Formosan termites, is a sub-species of subterranean termites that cause the most damage. 

But the way they invade homes is exactly like the way subterranean termites enter homes.

So, coming back to the ways termites invade homes, there are two ways.

The first way is from underground, which is how subterranean termites invade homes.

They’ll crawl into your home by exploiting the tiny gaps and cracks on your home’s foundation or from underneath damaged floors.

The most prominent sign of subterranean termites invading homes are the mud tubes they build on the walls and on the wood pieces.

These mud tubes are made out of their feces and saliva. 

Subterranean termites build these mud tubes to commute from one place to another. And while they infest homes, these mud tubes are pathways from one source of food to another.

Another way that subterranean termites use to invade homes is by flying into your home.

These flying termites are known as alates. Alates or winged termites are the reproductive life stage of termites.

The winged termites will leave their current nests, because of lack of space in the colony they are in, and will swarm.

These swarms will move into your homes because of various reasons which you’ll find later in the post.

Spotting signs of subterranean termite infestation is pretty easy. It’s because the mud tubes are quite visible. 

So, if you’re alert about possible termite invasion, you can get rid of subterranean termites at the early stages. 

But when it comes to drywood termites, things get difficult. 

Because there are no early signs of infestation.

So, how do drywood termites enter homes? 

The following section reveals it.

Here’s How Drywood Termites Enter Your Home

How drywood termites enter your home

Drywood termites always invade homes by flying into your home in swarms. 

Drywood termites swarm during the late summer and beginning of the fall. This period makes homes vulnerable to drywood termite invasion, especially in Florida and Texas.

The alates (reproductive winged) of drywood termites will leave their current colonies during the late summers.

They’ll get inside your home, mate, shed their wings, and drill into the wooden structures to start a new colony of drywood termites.

Though subterranean termites and their cousins, Formosan termites are the most destructive termites in the US, drywood termites are the hardest to locate and get rid of.


It’s because, first, when they infest your home, they’re not as large numbers as the subterranean termites are.

And second, drywood termites infest the deepest and hardest to reach corners of your home.

These places include the structural lumber of your home, wooden beams, joists, and even the roof and ceilings.

On top of that, there’s no evident sign of drywood termite infestation. When the infestation gets severe, then the signs of infestation start to show up. 

And the signs of drywood termite are quite subtle. 

You’ll not only need a strong eye sight to see these signs, along with the ability to climb up to hard-to-reach places in your home, but also some knowledge on the signs of drywood termite infestation. 

3 Signs Of Drywood Termite Infestation In Your Home

The first sign of drywood termite infestation is the tiny holes on the wood.

Yes, drywood termites created these holes while they drilled into the wooden structure of your homes.

These holes can be hard to locate unless you’re really eagle-eyed about any changes on the wood’s layer.

The second sign of drywood termite infestation is the broken wings and dead winged termites.

This can be both the early sign of drywood termite infestation and it can also indicate that there’s a thriving drywood termite infestation in your home.

The alates or winged termites can also leave the colonies they already built in your home to look out for a new place to infest.

So, that can also cause them to shed their wings and mate. 

Or, it can also show that your home is under attack from the drywood termites for the first time. 

The irony is that these alates have a very short lifespan of 24 hours if they fail to mate.

Majority of them aren’t able to make it.

That’s why broken wings and dead winged termites on the floors and window sills are evident when a home is under attack from drywood termites or there’s an existing drywood termite infestation. 

The third sign of drywood termites’ infestation, and this one is important for you to take note of, is termite feces.

Termite feces, also known as fecal pellets or frass, are droppings of drywood termites

Drywood termites don’t have any use of their feces like the subterranean termites have.

Drywood termites will discard their feces and wood dust from the holes that they create on the wooden structures. 

Termite droppings from the ceiling

These fecal pellets will accumulate right underneath the infested portion of your home.

So, you’ll see drywood termites’ fecal pellets underneath walls, ceilings, and even on floors. 

It’s a clear indication that drywood termites have infested the structure right above these fecal pellets.

Fecal pellets don’t look like fine sawdust. If there’s a fine sawdust then it’s not a drywood termite infestation that you’re dealing with.

Chances are that you’re dealing with powder post beetle infestation in your home. Powder post beetles are also one of the destructive wood boring insects.

Fecal pellets look like dirt with black pepper-like grains on the dirt pile. 

Pro tip: Don’t disregard the fecal pellets as regular dirt. Inspect the area above the termite feces for tiny holes on the wood.

The fourth sign of drywood termite infestation, which is the most severe sign, is your home’s structural lumber has developed cracks.

This is dangerous. It’s because the stability of your home is now at risk. And if you don’t hire a pest controller to deal with the issue your life can be at risk.

As drywood termites can infest the roof and ceilings, these cracks will appear in those places too.

Do Termites Spread From House To House

Indeed they do. Termites can spread from house to house. 

So much so that experts always recommend home buyers to check for history of termite, and bed bugs, infestation in the neighborhood. 

Both subterranean termites and drywood termites can spread from one house to another.

Drywood termites travel in swarms. And when they leave your neighbor’s home in swarms, they don’t have any reason to ignore your home for starting a new termite colony.

Termites’ ability to spread in multiple homes either from underground or in swarms is one of the ways how termites get into your house. 

What Attracts Drywood Termite Swarms To Your Home

Though the winged drywood termites will invade homes randomly in swarms, light from your home attracts drywood termite swarms.

Light coming out of your home during evening hours will surely draw these termites to your home.

How To Stop Termite Swarms From Invading Your Home

There are certain cheap steps that you can take right now to stop termite swarms from infesting your home. 

These products will save you a fortune in termite treatment and home repair.

Bug Zappers

Bug zappers should be an integral element of your home’s outdoors. A bug zapper emits light but it kills the flying termites that land on them.

Not just flying termites, bug zappers also kill flying ants, mosquitoes, and any flying bug that can invade your home. 

So, it’d be best if you install a bug zapper in your yard and on the patio. 

Mercury Bulbs

Light from bulbs attracts flying termites and many other bugs. 

But there are certain bulbs that don’t. Mercury bulbs are one of them.

Installing these bulbs near windows, doors, patio, near swimming pools, and in the garage will significantly reduce the chances of any winged termites flying into your home.

Window Screens

Window screens are a great addition to your windows to stop any type of flying bugs entering your home.

They’re really worth their money after rains when many flying bugs become active. 

Install window screens with fine mesh on the windows of your kitchen, bathroom, and on the windows that are facing your yard. 

That’ll stop the termite swarms from flying into your home.

How To Get Rid Of Drywood Termites?

Termites, especially drywood termites are hard to get rid of. They’re tough to kill

The truth is most DIY ways fail to secure your home from a termite infestation.

Given the fact that drywood termites are hard to spot and places of infestation are hard to locate, the likelihood of any DIY ways will work on them, is zero.

So, to get rid of drywood termites always take professional help.