Types of Termites
Termites are an impressive species of insect, dating back over 120 million years. These cellulose consuming organisms are present worldwide ranging across 3000 unique species. In the United States they’re classified into 3 groups, Drywood, Dampwood and Subterranean.
Subterranean Termites may not destroy property like the other two groups, but they can still become nuisances underground.
For the Drywood and Dampwood Termites, pest control practices are your best line of defense against these Wood Destroying crawlers. A preventative pest control service designed to repel Termites will protect your home and structure from any decomposition or destruction at the hands of Termites.
Dampwood Termites are primarily found along the Pacific Coast and adjacent States, but can also be identified as far south as Florida. These Termites are named accurately as they prefer to create their nests in damp wood, like logs, stumps, and dead trees. They typically prefer damp and decaying wood over any others, but have been recorded devouring fences and utility poles as well. In homes they prefer to enter from areas close to the ground, and will transition into homes near areas of high moisture. Homes with unsealed crawl spaces are at risk of termite damage due to the excessive amounts of Moisture in these areas. Leaky Pipes and environmental factors increase the risk of Termite incursions due to the high humidity near the wood they can access. Unlike Subterranean Termites, Dampwood Termites do not require the ground around the wood to be damp in order to attack the exposed wood. Instead they directly assault wood, and wood with sufficient moisture is the most likely to be attacked.
Termites are organized in separate castes within a colony, and while that is still true for the Dampwood Termites, a key difference between Dampwood and other Termites is that Dampwood Termites do not have a specific “Worker” caste within the Colony. Immature Termites within the Colony perform all the duties that would be typically carried out by the worker caste.
Unlike Dampwood Termites in the United States, Drywood Termites range across a variety of specific types. Powderpost Termites are Drywood Termites that typically infest furniture, lending them the nickname of Furniture Termites. In the United States, Powderpost Termites are most present in humid coastal areas. While they typically do not require tubes, and will directly attack the wood they’re consuming, they have been known to create tubes to create a bridge to travel between two pieces of wood. When swarming, Powderpost Termites will typically reinfest the same structure from which they began. The Colonies of Drywood Termites are usually much smaller than the colonies of other types of Termites. Drywood Termites are typically spread wide on accident when they infest wood that is being transported across great distances. Like Dampwood Termites, Drywood Termites do not have a specific Worker Caste. Instead their immature Termites will provide all the workforce typically made up of Worker Caste Termites.
The Subterranean Termites are a unique type of Termite. Unlike Dampwood and Drywood Termites, Subterranean Termites typically eat softer woods. Because they require a high amount of moisture, they travel between the colony and a food source by use of Mud Tubes. Subterranean Termites also nest in the ground as opposed to different sources of wood inhabited by Dampwood and Drywood Termites. The Southeastern Subterranean Termite is the most Widespread Termite in the United States. These Termites range throughout the Eastern United States and South, as far as Texas. While they mainly stay in contact with the ground, aerial colonies have been reported, with groups of termites never having any contact with the ground.
Subterranean Termites also include the Formosan Termite, which is often referred to as the “Super Termite”. Formosan Termites can decompose wood at a rapid rate, due to the expansive size of their colonies. A Formosan Queen can lay as many as 1,000 eggs in a single day. Because of their rapid capacity to consume and destroy wood, a Formosan colony can easily create problems with a home’s structure in as little as 6 months. Formosan Termites have been known to infest completely healthy, living shrubs and trees as well, which can create even more headaches for homeowners as their landscaping is devoured by a colony.