Drywood Termite

Actual Size: ¼ to ⅜”

Characteristics: Wide variation in size and coloration, depending on the species. These termites can be told apart from ants by their large, drooping wings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Alates/swarmers have wings.

Habitat: Drawn to warm and humid environments, but typically attacks dry wood that is above the ground.


  • Have strong, saw-like jaws that can cut through dry and undamaged wood.
  • Can live in large colonies with up to 10,000 individual termites.
  • Generally eats across the grain of wood.


Drywood Termites in your area

Though drywood termites are not as common as other species, they can still cause significant destruction to homes and buildings. These termites have saw-like jaws that allow them to bite through hard and undamaged wood, unlike other termites that typically target soft or decaying wood. Drywood termites also eat across the grain of timber, which can be extremely damaging to structures. Infestations can usually be identified by discarded wings, feces, or piles of frass – which looks like ultra-fine sawdust.

Drywood Termite Habitat

Drywood termites are a species that has evolved to require less moisture than other kinds of termites. Generally, they prefer to live in warmer areas where winters are mild. Drywood termites live entirely within the wood they consume, so they do not require soil to survive like other species. For this reason, these termites typically attack wood that is above ground – even reaching higher levels of buildings or wooden items like furniture. Drywood termites often enter homes by hitchhiking on infested wooden furniture.

Drywood Termite Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Drywood termites do not pose a major health risk to humans, but they can cause serious damage and lead to safety concerns. By chewing across the grain of otherwise perfectly strong timber, drywood termites can severely weaken the structural integrity of important supportive components such as beams. And, because these termites are excellent at hiding within the wood they are infesting, they can be very difficult to detect until they have already caused extensive destruction. If you notice the signs of drywood termites near your home or property, it is recommended to call a professional termite exterminator for help as soon as possible.