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Pest Control/Drywood Termite Swarm!


QUESTION: Hi there, I really hope you can help me, been scouring the internet with no luck, just a few simple questions. I live here in San Diego and since the end of August I have had Drywood Termites (positively identified) swarming inside my home. They were coming in through the skylight in my kitchen and once I found out where they were coming from I taped a plastic bag over the skylight. They kept swarming everyday but now they were trapped in the plastic bag. YAY! So just today I'm sitting at my computer and looked behind me and there they are again. In another room this time. Now I dont want to sound coukoo but I have my doors and windows all sealed with duct tape this time of year,(TONS of bugs get inside if I dont) have a horrible phobia of flying bugs, so I know they arent coming through there. My question is, how long is this going to last???? I've already been dealing with this EVERYDAY for a month now. Is this normal?? I didnt think they were supposed to swarm this long?? I wish I could see where there are coming in now, havent been able to tell yet. I do think they are coming in from the outside though, dont think its inside the house. Heck who knows, I just want this to STOP!!!!! BTW, we are renting here, not management was notified when this first started happening. Thank you for your help!!

ANSWER: Tristina,

Couple of questions ... how do you know they are drywood termites? Have you found fecal pellets inside the house? Who identified the termites? Post a follow up and I'll help you figure this out.

Jack DeAngelis

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have identified them myself, it wasnt hard! They have an orangeish head, wings twice as long as their bodies, greyish wings (not white) and about 1/2 inch long. They are for sure not flying ants, these have more of an oval shaped body, not waspy like an ant. They cant fly very well and kind of just end up on the floor eventually. No, I havent seen pellets inside the house, and I'm betting they are coming from the utility pole in the backyard or this HUGE overgrown Mulberry tree that has grown over the porch and the roof. I have called property management about cutting the tree, and well, no luck until next month. (our ac just broke and they are being cheap). It was strange what happened today though they started coming in at 11 and kept coming ALL DAY until around 5:30. Usually they just hit once and thats kinda it. So anyways, I just sucked em up all day. Sigh. This is so terrifying for me! Just wish I knew where they were coming in at so I can seal it up like I did the skylights.......I thought my worries were over then!

These do sound like winged termites but there are several different species including drywoods. My guess is they are emerging from a colony in the structure rather than from outside. Winged termites don't normally enter through windows or doors. See for some general information about drywood termites. I'm surprised that the owners are not taking this more seriously since these termites can do a lot of damage. The flight/emergence should not last too long but it is dependent on weather so it is hard to predict exactly. You might try to isolate the emergence to a particular room by closing interior doors. Once you identify a particular room look for a small (pencil size) holes in the wall where they might be coming from.

Jack DeAngelis

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.


I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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