What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Drywood termite larvae?
Hi Lisa and Daniel,
With your help I identified some nasty larvae that had fallen from my wood beamed ceiling. I already had strong evidence of dry wood termites. I live in Playas de Rosarito, Mexico 20 minutes from San Diego on the beach. The humidity is very high. The homeowners here have predilection for wood vaulted ceilings. That is why I have not called an exterminator when every morning I see wooden droppings. At the beginning I thought these were grains of sand carried from the beach, but were not. My reasoning for not calling an exterminator was not because of mercy, I thought that when the house would not be toxic any longer (from the exterminators tent) and I would be able to comeback, the termites will be back as well either from the neighbors wood beamed ceilings or because of the environmental conditions. This morning, among the digested particles of my beautiful ceiling there were these very ugly crawling little beasts that resembled silverfish, but I noticed that the powerful jaws (seen on the picture), were not in the tail but in the front when they took their walking baby steps on my floor. I am sending you the picture; very similar to the one you have but this one show the jaws. Great site you have. I seen a website one time on how to kill dry wood termites naturally by introducing a worm like predator. Not very appealing but better than getting poisoned together with the termites. Could you ask your expert sources about it? I forgot the name of the worm and the site. Thanks
Celia

Hi Celia,
It is our belief that this is actually a Soldier caste from a different species, the Pacific Dampwood Termite, Zootermopsis angusticollis. This is a larger termite and it will eat all types of wood, but is most commonly found in buried wood that is subject to moisture. Hogue notes: “By vibrating their heads on the walls of their chambers, soldiers and nymphs produce an audible ticking sound that is believed to function as an alarm to the colony.” We don’t know about the parasite you mentioned.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Pacific Dampwood Termite: Soldier

  1. I live in N. Ca. and recently found a couple of strange critters on our stove. 2 yrs. ago our rental was fumigated for a bad infestation of subterranean termites. My husband took a picture of this new critter. Is there a way that I can get the photo to you for ID? Thanks.

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