Which Type Of Termites Do You Have?


Your home is one of the most major investments that you will probably ever make in your lifetime. The last thing that you want to happen is for it to fall in value due to something that is within your control. Unfortunately, this can happen if you do not inspect for termites. It is estimated that by feeding on your home and other structures, termites cause over $5 billion per year in damages. Even though there are over 3,000 species of termites, the damage caused by them in the United States can normally be attributed to one of three main types.

Subterranean Termites

One of the most common and most destructive types of termites found in the United States is the subterranean termite. These pests are most commonly found in the South and Southeastern parts of the country, but they can be found almost anywhere that does not experience extremely cold temperatures. They primarily live underground and can be in colonies made up of millions of members. These termites can vary from being creamy white in color to a dark brown or black, and they are approximately 1/8 of an inch long. They primarily eat wood, but will eat any product that contains cellulose.

One of the best ways to identify subterranean termites is through the distinct tunnels or mud tubes that they build to protect themselves and to move from one location to another. If you have an infestation of this type of termite, you will often find these tubes along the base of your outside walls or inside of your crawl-spaces. 

This class of termites can be further broken down into sub-types. Some of these include:. 

  • Desert
  • Arid Land 
  • Eastern
  • Western 
  • Formosan
  • Light Southeastern
  • Dark Southeastern

Because subterranean termites eat 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they live in such large colonies, they can do quite a bit of damage in a short period of time.

Drywood Termites

If you live in the Southern United States or in the state of Hawaii, you may find signs that your home is infected with drywood termites. These small colonies of insects live in dry wood, and are often found in furnishings or the woodwork that make up your home. These termites leave behind telltale signs of fecal pellets that often appear beside the small holes in the wood that they have been "kicked" out of. Unlike subterranean termites who need the moisture that is found in the soil to survive, drywood termites are able to pull their water from the wood they feed on.

These termites are also often larger than subterranean termites, and soldiers of this type may measure up to 5/16 of an inch long. There are also sub-types of this species, as well. These are often determined on where the termites are based. They are:

  • Southeastern
  • West Indian
  • Western
  • Desert

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are normally found in the Western and North Western areas of the United States. These are among the largest termites found and can be found over 1/2 inch in length. Because of their size, they can cause substantial damage to the infested areas of your home. Like their name indicates, they are attracted to the damp, rotting, wooden areas of your home, such as your fence posts, siding, rotting eaves, and rotting structural supports. They can also be found in and around your home. They tend to build their nest in trees, rotting logs, and other types of wooden structures. 

No matter which type of termite you think you have, the most important thing is to get your home inspected and treated as quickly as possible. This will help you to identify damage that may have already been done, as well as keep additional damage from being done. Call a termite inspector from a company like Tri-County Termite & Pest Control and ask for an inspection today.


2 June 2016

how to eliminate pests for good

Do you spend your spring and summer months battling the pests that enter your home? There are many ways to prevent the intrusion of ants, roaches, flies, mosquitoes, mice and other pests in your home. I own several rental properties that I have to be sure do not get infested with all sorts of pests and have learned a lot about preventing the intrusion to begin with. You can learn from my personal experiences and keep the pests from ever becoming a serious issue in your home. With a few minor changes to the home and working with a skilled pest control agent, your home can be pest-free forever!