How Do Drywood Termites Enter Your Home? Entire process Explained

Drywood termites are more dangerous than subterranean termites.


How do Drywood Termites Enter Your Home

Because it’s hard to spot them, they leave no traces as subterranean termites do in the form of mud tunnels.

By the time you notice drywood termites’ presence, it means that their numbers have increased and they have wreaked significant havoc in your home.

So, how do drywood termites enter your home?

They don’t show up as subterranean termites do.

Subterranean termites enter your home from the ground. If you’ve a mobile home then subterranean termite infestation is more likely than drywood termite infestation.

Drywood termites come from other drywood termite colonies.

How Do Drywood Termites Travel?

Drywood termites travel to your house in swarms.

These swarms of drywood termites come out from the already established colonies in other homes.

Their mission – to find a new home (which can be yours) to breed, set a new territory, and destroy your home.

So, do termites travel from house to house, home to home? Yes, they definitely do.

But what draws these drywood termites to your home? Do they pick any home randomly?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. Let us explain.

Only a particular kind of drywood termites leave their colonies.

They’re known as alates – termites with wings.

These alates metamorphose from nymphs, a termite class in the colony whose main job is to nurture the king’s and the queen’s larvae of the termite colony.

When the alates fly off from their colony in swarms en masse, they look for a light source.

That light source can be a bulb outside or inside your home or in anybody else’s home. When they reach the light source, they fall to the ground, and most of them die.

Less than 1% of these alates survive after reaching the light source.

The ones that are alive, they shed their wings, and they form pairs. These termite couples without wings are now known as dealates.

What’s the next job for these dealates?

Now their job is to look for anything made of wood at your home. That can be your furniture or even your wooden building structure.

Once they spot the wood, they bore a hole in it.

Through these holes, all these happy termite couples enter the wooden furniture.

They mate inside this wooden furniture to establish a new colony and start eating your furniture.  

So, that’s how drywood termites enter your home.

What Are The Signs of Drywood Termite Infestation?

There are two significant signs of drywood termite infestation.

The first sign of drywood termite infestation is wings discarded by (alates) termites.

If you see drywood termite wings lying on your home’s floor, then that’s for sure that termites have entered your home.

Termite Wings

But luckily, this is the initial stage of termite infestation.

The termites haven’t gotten deeper into your home, and the chances of a severe infestation are minimum.

It is the best time to begin an anti-termite program.

The program’s costs would be low, and termites haven’t damaged your furniture or your home too much.

The second sign of drywood termite infestation is termite droppings, also known as frass or pellets.

These are termite feces that they discard out of their nests from the little holes on the wood.

Suppose you see piles of frass below your furniture or anywhere else in your house.

In that case, it’s a sign of severe termite infestation. It means that drywood termites have drilled deep into your furniture or in your home’s walls.

They’re feasting on your furniture, and they’re discarding their frass from their nests.

Not a good sign at all!

It would be best if you don’t do any DIY thing to tackle this situation.

Getting rid of drywood termites, which are the worst type of termites, need an experienced pest control specialist.

The best approach is to contact a pest control company or specialist to eliminate these lethal drywood termites.

But do ask the pest controller if it’s drywood termites infestation or powderpost beetle infestation.

Because both the signs of infestation are a bit similar.

How Fast Do Drywood Termites Spread In Your Home?

If you have a two bedroom house, termites can quickly spread across the whole house within 5-7 weeks.

Though how fast it spreads depends on how much furniture you’ve, how clean your home is, etc., they can proliferate in your home rapidly if you ignore their presence.

Do drywood termites spread into your couch?

Yes, drywood termites can also devastate your couch. Plus, the foam in your coach gives them the extra warmth and comfort they need to thrive.

How long do drywood termites live?

Different categories of drywood termites have different lifespans.

Worker termites that do most of the drilling inside your furniture live for 1.5-2 years. At the same time, the king and the queen drywood termites can easily survive for a decade.

Do termites spread from house to house?

Yes, they do. Suppose drywood termites infest any house in your vicinity. In that case, there are good chances that these termites would infest other homes too.

How to prevent drywood termites from entering your home?

If you’re living in the southern coastal areas like Texas, Florida, your home is at risk of drywood termite infestation.

Drywood termites swarm during the end of spring and beginning of summer, so you can take specific measures to prevent termites from infesting your home during these seasons

Here’s what you can do to stop these drywood termite swarms from entering your home –

  • Keep your windows closed, especially after sunset. These drywood termite swarms mostly travel during the evenings.
  • If there’s a light source outside of your house, don’t keep it turned on for extended hours. You can turn it on only when it’s needed.
  • If, for any reason, you’ve to keep the outside light on, then tie a bunch of neem leaves around the light bulb. Drywood termite swarms hate neem leaves.
  • If there’s any lumber lying unattended around your home or in your yard, coat it with paint. If there’s any fissure or cracks on the wood, fill them up with cement.
  • Sprinkle some kerosene or anti termite insecticide in your garden or yard. Also, sprinkle some of them on any lumber that’s lying outside your home.
  • You can also coat your home furniture with some kerosene. It’ll prevent the termites from entering your furniture. But remember, the smell of the kerosene can give some people a bit of headache.

When To Call For a Pest Control Specialist To Treat Drywood Termite Infestation?

The best time to call is when you observe termite swarms or termite wings in your home.

Tap on your furniture, door, and window frames. If you hear a hollow sound, then straight away, call a pest control specialist for a home inspection.

Again, don’t try any DIY stuff for drywood termite control. These termites need expert intervention, and there are many safety elements involved that an experienced pest controller knows.


Drywood termites are lethal and inflict more damage than subterranean termites. In this post, you’ve got to know how they spread and what pre-emptive steps you can take to stop them from infesting your home. 

Do you have a piece of antique furniture, and drywood termites have infected it? You can read our post here to find out what to do if that happens.