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Dspdrew's Drywood Termites Journal (Updated 2-16-2018)


30 replies to this topic

#1 Online dspdrew - Posted October 6 2013 - 6:40 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

10-6-2013

 

For some reason today's Santa Ana winds here in Southern California and insanely low humidity of 6% triggered a nuptial flight of Drywood Termites. All day long I was seeing them swarming around my apartment. I managed to catch six dealates that I decided to keep and try to raise. Supposedly these termites don't require any water because they get all the water they need from the wood they eat. I didn't see any of them walking in pairs, so I think I only got the queens. If not having the king is going to be a problem, then I guess this will fail.

 

I put each queen termite in a plastic jar with a little dirt in the bottom and a piece of a pine 2x4. In the ends of each piece of wood, I drilled a 4mm hole for them to crawl into and start making their nest.

 

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I dropped the termites in and they immediately crawled in the holes and started cleaning them out. We'll see how this goes, hopefully I can end up with a nice source of food for my ants this way.



#2 Online dspdrew - Posted November 27 2013 - 4:33 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Updated 11-27-2013

 

After a while I didn't see much activity in most of these jars, so I took the only three I could find and put them all in the same jar.

 

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I have no idea which are males and which are females, so I guess I can just hope that I have a male and a female in their and they end up mating.

 

Not sure what's going on in their little wood tunnel, but it looks like they kicked one of the termites out and it just stood outside until it died. The other two have been in their for almost two months now, and they have since sealed up the hole, as you can see in the pictures.

 

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#3 Offline Anthony - Posted March 27 2014 - 1:39 PM

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Any new news on them?

#4 Online dspdrew - Posted March 27 2014 - 11:47 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

A while back it looked like one of them kicked the other one out of the hole and it eventually died. I opened up the hole and took a look inside today, and the one still in there is alive and well, but it doesn't appear to have a colony or anything like that, so I doubt it will ever be anything more than just a termite in a hole unfortunately. :lol:



#5 Offline Matt - Posted April 7 2014 - 5:53 AM

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Is there no risk for your home?



#6 Online dspdrew - Posted April 7 2014 - 6:50 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

It's an apartment complex, and these alates actually came from the building in the first place.



#7 Online dspdrew - Posted May 19 2014 - 3:18 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Updated 5-19-2014

 

This termite was clearly not fertile so I got rid of it.



#8 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 15 2014 - 4:16 PM

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Updated 5-19-2014

 

This termite was clearly not fertile so I got rid of it.

Don't termites not stay fertile and constantly need to mate? That's why the male stays with her for life?



#9 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 15 2014 - 4:17 PM

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Also I have ID'd the ones in my pool as these drywood termites...



#10 Online dspdrew - Posted August 15 2014 - 4:18 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

That's funny, when you were describing them I was thinking about drywood termites and almost mentioned them. They seem to fly around here at least 5 times a year. I have never gotten any of them to start a colony.



#11 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 15 2014 - 4:19 PM

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And you can keep all the alates together in a SEALED PLASTIC/GLASS box and they will eventually make pairs, however with the ones I have, I have been experimenting and they seem polygynous, because after a few days of being n pairs, they all just merge into one large group, and work together. Yet to see what they do if/when they get their first worker.



#12 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 27 2014 - 8:39 PM

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I should start my own journal for them, but I found something weird today. Some of the ones that I have had for about two weeks now are starting to look like the ones in this image.

western_drywood_termite05.jpg

(Not my image)



#13 Online dspdrew - Posted August 28 2014 - 6:06 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

The kind and queen are so hard to tell apart. The ones in that picture look almost identical, except one has its gaster stretched out more than the other.



#14 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted September 2 2014 - 6:32 PM

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There is something going around in my colony of these dealates. I am keeping about 20 together hoping to start a colony faster, because why not. They are polygynous. Sadly, a bunch of them have started to shrink. Their gasters get smaller and smaller, then they die. I think there is some kind of parasite or something playing a game with me...



#15 Online dspdrew - Posted September 3 2014 - 5:36 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Mine did the same thing. I don't think it's a parasite, I think they're just dying.



#16 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted September 3 2014 - 6:35 AM

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Its not like they are starving... A normal sized one shrinks in a few hours.  :o



#17 Online dspdrew - Posted February 1 2016 - 2:41 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Updated 2-1-2016

 

I got a little colony of these from Subverted the other day. They're just being kept in a test tube for now.

 

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#18 Online dspdrew - Posted April 24 2016 - 12:01 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Updated 4-24-2016

 

I moved these into a little hydrated setup I made with some old parts from my fungus-grower formicarium prototypes. The hydrated floor and mesh lid should keep the humidity at a reasonable level for these. The container on the left with the plastic lid is housing my subterranean termites.

 

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#19 Offline gcsnelling - Posted April 24 2016 - 3:27 AM

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You should keep in mind that termites, drywoods at least will chew thru plastic quite easily. I have seen it happen many times.



#20 Online dspdrew - Posted April 24 2016 - 8:43 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Wow, well I'll keep an eye on them. I would think that without getting an edge, it would be pretty difficult, and something I would probably notice before they made it through. The silicone plugs are a different story. My Acromyrmex chewed those things away pretty quickly. I just completely overlooked this. I guess it's a good thing the building I'm in and all the wood fences around it are completely infested with these things already.






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