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Drywood Termites

Drywood Termites

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cryptotermes Cavifrons

One of the most difficult parts of termite control is termite identification. Among the most common in South Florida is the Drywood Termite.

Drywood Termites, Cryptotermes Cavifrons, are typically a pale brown color. Soldiers measure approximately 3/8-inch long and have large brownish heads with strong jaws. Kings and Queens measure up to ½-inch long. During the Alate (winged) stage they are as long as 5/8-inch. With Drywood Termites, the “worker” caste is made up of Nymphs (juveniles). These Nymphs, which comprise the majority of the colony, are wingless and cream-colored. Unlike their subterranean cousins, Drywood termites live exclusively in wood and do not require any contact with soil. These termites acquire their necessary moisture through the digestion of cellulose, found in most common household materials. Unfortunately, this means they are immune to do-it-yourself soil treatments. Drywood Termites have a tendency to create multiple colonies inside structures. Although often confused with sawdust, the most frequent way to identify an infestation is with the discovery of fecal pellets. Swarming and infestations by Drywood termites are usually activated by warm temperatures and heavy rain during the Spring and Summer months. Soldier and Nymph termites remain inside the colony at all times. The Soldier termite guards the colony against attacks from enemies such as ants. Nymph (juvenile) termites aid in all of the functions of the colony, from feeding soldier termites and assisting the King and Queen with new young, to constructing and expanding the colony. Alate (winged) termites “swarm” to find new dry wood to infest. Once successful, these Alates soon pair, enter a small hole and create a new colony.

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