Western drywood termites
Swarmer of western drywood termite are about 7/16-1/2 inch long the head and pronotum are orange brown, abdomen is dark brown, wing membrane and pigmented veins are blackish. The Soldiers head is orange to reddish brown with a whitish eye spot.
The western drywood termite produces usually hard pellets, less than 1/32 inch long, long, oval shaped with rounded ends, 6 concave sides. They are found in the Southwestern U.S., Northwestern Mexico and may also be established in Florida. Western drywood termites infest wood with a moisture content of 12% or less.
Drywood termites do not live in the ground, do not build mud tubes, nor require ground contact ground. Colonies are located in the wood they eat, and are smaller than those of subterranean termites. There is no worker caste; immatures and nymphs do the work. After swarming, they find cracks or knotholes in nearby wood, gnaw a small tunnel, close it, excavate a chamber, and mate. The pair may remain dormant for nearly a year, or lay up to 5 eggs, 20 nymphs and 1 soldier. At the end of the 2nd year, the colony may have 6-40 nymphs and 1 soldier; by the 3rd year there may be 40-165 individuals; by the 4th year, 70-700 individuals, at which time the first swarmers may be realized. Swarming of drywood termites, in dozens or occasionally hundreds, typically happens in September/October, at mid-day in warm, sunny weather 80 degrees F, peaking after a sudden temperature increase. In Arizona, drywood termites swarm at night in July.
These swarmers are attracted to light. Drywood termites are distributed by human activity, like the shipping of infested furniture, picture frames, and lumber, to new areas. Swarmers drywood termites fly into structures, directly infesting the wood, first in exposed places such as door and window frames, eaves, attics, and molding, or where shingles and paper overhang timber, finding a protected joint or crevice. They often re-infest the same structure when swarming.
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