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Drywood termites are social insects that live in colonies. The colonies are composed of kings, queens and soldiers. There is no worker caste as in subterranean colonies. The work is performed by immature termites before they become adults. King and queen termites perform the reproductive functions of the colony. They are light to dark brown and 1/3- to 1 inch in length. Soldiers guard the colony against invaders such as ants. They are white and wingless with large brownish heads and jaws. The nymphs (immatures), which are the most numerous caste, are white and wingless. The soldiers and immatures remain inside the wood at all times.

Drywood termites infest only dry wood and are most often found in attic wood structure as they do not require contact with the soil. They need very little moisture because they are able to live off of the water produced from the digestion of the cellulose. Drywood termites mate and fly to new dry wood areas, enter a small hole in the wood, and start to form a colony. Colonies will contain up to 2500 members.