Are There Different Species of Termites?

Unbeknownst to most people, there are nearly four dozen species of termites that are native to the United States. Although not all species are found in all environments, the 45 known species can be classified into three general categories: drywood, dampwood, and subterranean. Termites in each of the three families have similar characteristics and exhibit certain unique types of behavior.

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are typically found living inside wood structures. These may include anything from recently deceased trees to hardwood floors inside homes. While they share some characteristics with subterranean termites, the colonies themselves grow at a much slower rate, which means they are less likely to do considerable damage to buildings and other structures. Drywood termites can generally be identified early on in the infestation and eradicated before the structure itself is damaged beyond repair. Desert Drywood, Southeastern Drywood, and Western Drywood are particular species that can cause issues. All drywood species may be found in eaves, ceilings, walls, and even siding.

Dampwood Termites

As their name implies, dampwood termites eat wood that is not completely dried out. They may even eat rotting wood, which is a behavioral characteristic that sets them apart from drywood termites. Exterminators do not often come into contact with the dampwood species, which can't survive inside homes and buildings because the wood does not have enough moisture. They are highly unlikely to be the culprits in classic infestations that do significant damage to property.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are the classic termites that are responsible for most of the damage in buildings. They can build very large nests, which are connected to sources of food through tunnels that are caked in mud. Eastern Subterranean, Western Subterranean, Desert Subterranean, and Formosan are just a few of the sub-classifications that are used to categorize this particular group of termites. The insects live in the soil but can quickly colonize the interior of buildings, especially when these areas are seen as a viable food source.

Termite Damage

Termites, which are usually first identified by mud tunnels, wing piles, and wood deterioration, can cause a lot of damage when not caught in time. Colonies are often found behind walls and floorboards where the individual termites are hard to reach. Furniture, wood siding, shelves, and even home foundations can quickly fall into disrepair. Damage can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars, especially if large areas of the foundation need to be reinforced or completely rebuilt.

Professional Assistance

If you are ultimately worried about a termite infestation that is already underway, you can contact Germantown Pest Control & Termite for more information. We can devise a plan of action that will leave your home free of termites once again.

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