What are the Types of Termites?
There are many species of termites around the world, and they all typically fall into drywood, dampwood, or subterranean categories.
There are nearly 2,000 termite species in the world, but only 40 or so in the United States. Even though 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 termites and prefer to infest stumps, fallen logs, tree branches, and other sources of damp wood that are often in decay. If they’ve infested a property, they most likely entered into the building where the wood is touching the soil or where a leaky pipe has created moisture. Dampwood termites cover up their entry holes with their fecal matter rather than building mud tubes as other termites do.
All About Drywood Termites
Unlike all other types of termites, drywood termites do not need contact with soil and only infest dry 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 around a home. When they infest a home, they likely entered through exposed wood or infested wood that was brought indoors. One reliable way to differentiate them from other types is noticing piles of discarded wings, because the drywood swarmers shed their wings after swarming.
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What to Know About Subterranean Termites
Subterranean termites are the most common type of termite throughout the nation and are infamous for causing extensive structural damage in thousands of homes each year. This type of termite, including Western and Eastern types, 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 have four distinct wings that make them stand out.