Drywood Termite or Flying Ant?

A Drywood Termite flies through the air in search of a new home to destroy. These swarming termites enter cracks and crevices in wood that is no longer alive which can be in a downed tree in the middle of a forest. Or they may enter the eaves of your house.

A drywood termite should cause great concern. A flying ant is no big deal.

Drywood termites will form colonies that multiply populations in very little time. They eat the wood in your home via tunnels that extend horizontally deep into wood. They leave very little evidence of what is happening inside a structure and will hollow out wood structures as they munch away, silently destroying your home.

The main evidence is what are referred to as fecal pellets. These are the waste product of termites that accumulate at the entry holes and form small piles of what looks like sawdust. However, upon closer inspection, these are not sawdust bits. They are small, consistently shaped pellets that look like miniature capsules. Not wanting to live with their excrement, the drywood termites kick their waste out of the entry holes which is often the only visible evidence that something is wrong.

If you have an area suspected of termite damage but see no fecal pellets, you can take a screwdriver and test an area by trying to ‘stab’ into the wood. If termites are present, the wood will be easily pierced – kind of like going into a sponge – as the screwdriver will easily pierce into the airy tunnels within the wood. If that happens, then time to get to work repairing.

So what does a drywood termite look like? They have a head that is a reddish brown. And they have long wings sprouting from a brown body. In comparison, a flying ant will be all one color – typically black – and the wings aren’t as long.

If you witness a drywood termite flying in search of a new home, be on the alert. To prevent entry into your home, you can periodically inspect the exterior and seal up all obvious cracks and crevices that invite these wood munchers in. But being diligent and watching the flight patterns around your home helps protect you from damage and expenses.

Arresting a newly forming colony is far less effort and expense than dealing with an established population. If you suspect drywood termites, get on it right away to arrest any future damage. A termite population that runs amok can literally destroy a building from the inside out and it can happen without you knowing it.

Up in the air – what is it? A Flying Ant? No big deal. Drywood Termites? Red Alert!