What are the Types of Termites?
Many species of termites exist around the world, but they all typically fall into the drywood, dampwood, or subterranean termite categories.
There are nearly 2,000 termite species in the world, but only 40 or so in the United States. Although there are so many different species, they all fall into one of these main types:
- Drywood termites
- Dampwood termites
- Subterranean termites
Habits of Dampwood Termites
Just as their name suggests, dampwood termites are attracted to wood that has a high moisture content. They are much larger than other types of termites and infest stumps, fallen logs, tree branches, and other wood that is commonly decaying. If they’ve infested a building, they most likely found access to areas where wood was directly touching the soul, or where a leaky pipe has produced excess moisture. Dampwood termites cover up their entry holes with their fecal matter rather than building mud tubes as other termites do.
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All About Drywood Termites
Unlike all other types of termites, drywood termites do not need contact with soil and only infest dry sources of wood. Since they do not require moisture from the ground, they prefer to nest in dryer wood above the ground, such as roof materials, wooden wall supports, or dead wood in the yard. When they infest a home, they likely entered through exposed wood or infested wood that was brought indoors. Because drywood termites don’t require moisture or soil for survival, they are often found in higher areas within a building.
What to Know About Subterranean Termites
Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite found throughout the entire nation and, unfortunately, the most damaging as well—they are infamous for causing extensive structural damage in thousands of homes each year. This type of termite, whether the Western or Eastern type, nests in the ground and constructs tunnels of mud tubes that allow them to travel within a home. Although they are fervent feeders, they tend to be picky and prefer to chew on soft wood found between the wood grains. Subterranean swarmers are often mistaken for flying ants but possess four distinct wings that make them stand out.
Formosan Termite Behavior
A type of subterranean termites, formosan termites are possibly the most destructive type of termite found in the nation. They reproduce at a quicker rate and are more capable of destroying wooden structures than other species because their colonies are significantly larger. Like most termites, they enter homes through wood in contact with soil and travel through mud tubes in search of damp wood to feed on. They prefer warm climates and are known to be some of the most defensive and aggressive termites.