Bullet Drywood Termites

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Termites are called social insects because they live together in colonies. Drywood termite colonies contain three types of individuals, each of which has its own characteristic appearance and its own duties to perform within the colony. The colony prospers as a whole because each of the "castes" (type of individuals) contributes to the welfare of the colony by performing its own duties.

The first type of individuals are the Alates or Swarmers. These are the mature males and females ready to swarm out to start new colonies.

The second type of individuals are the soldiers. The main function of the soldier termite is defense of the colony against intrusion by ants and other enemies.

All the rest of the individuals are nymphs. They perform most of the work of the colony other than reproduction and defense. Drywood termites do very well in douglas fir and all kinds of pine as well as most other woods used in the structure of houses. They do well in redwood, contrary to popular superstition. They are frequently found "in nature" in English walnut, eucalyptus, and citrus trees, just to name a few of the ornamental and fruit trees they infest.

Drywood termites are completely independent of the soil and thus do not have tubes extending to and from the soil. They can thrive readily in the dry timbers of a structure without requiring any additional moisture.

Drywood termite pellets have longitudinal grooves. These are characteristic of drywood termite pellets and may be used in identification to differentiate them from beetle pellets which are "smooth", and have no grooves.

Often times “pellets” are found on window sills and are the first indication to a homeowner that they have termites.

How Old is the Damage

Based on normal feeding activity, it takes several years to cause appreciable damage. There have been some predictions that, under ideal conditions, a mature drywood termite colony of 2,000-2,500 workers may consume approximatly ½ pound of wood per year.