Termites

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Termite Species in the U.S.

Termites are considered to be the most destructive insect pests in the world. Many buildings and structures are damaged by these pests each year resulting in huge financial losses.

There are many different types and species of termites active in the U.S. Below are the most common types of termites found throughout the country.

Subterranean Termites - Subterranean termites are social insects that live in colonies consisting of many individuals. Subterranean termites are found throughout North America and are the most common type of termite encountered in homes. A common indication of subterranean termites dark areas or blisters in wood flooring. However, subterranean termite will only eat the spring wood, leaving the grain and exterior surface intact – thus, the damage can go unnoticed.

Drywood Termites - Drywood termites are commonly found in coastal states in the south and south west of the country. They are not as prolific as some other species, but the damage they cause can be substantial especially as they can go undetected for a long time before they are discovered. Their diet mainly consists of house wood, utility poles, furniture and dying trees. Drywood termites do not require any contact with soil and prefer areas with low moisture content.

Dampwood Termites - Dampwood termites typically infest damp and decaying timber. This species is commonly found in the Pacific Coast states. They live in moist wood and do not require soil contact. Dampwood termites produce fecal pellets that are an indication of infestation. Dampwood termites contain several species and "swarm" to set up new nests during the year from January to October.

Termite Society

The basic castes in a colony are queens, kings, workers, soldiers and alates.

Termite Queen & King

Giving life to the colony

The function of the Queen and King in the termite colony is to reproduce. Starting out life as an Alate, they leave their parents' colony, drop to the ground and shed their wings to seek out an environment to nest. They care for their young until they are able to take over the duties of the colony.

Termite Workers

The 'doers'

The workers make up the largest number within a colony. They do all of the work (except defend and reproduce): feeding, grooming, excavating the nest and making tunnels. In doing their jobs, they cause the destruction that affects so many homes.

Termite Soldiers

The colony's defense

Soldiers defend the colony against attacks by predatory enemies such as ants, and are equipped with large jaws, sticky fluids or chemical spray to do so.

Alates

The future Queens & Kings

Alates are the winged reproductives that swarm out from the nest and establish new colonies. Male and females pair off and look for a suitable environment to mate. They are often confused for moths!