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Types of termites

Out of the 45 species of termites found in the United States, pest specialists are most concerned about the species of termites that fall into the subterranean, drywood and dampwood termites. These are the termites most commonly found in homes, destroying wooden structures. If you think you have any type of termite infesting your home or property, stop the damage and contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office.

Find more detailed information below about these common termite species.

Subterranean Termites

(Reticulitermes flavipes)

Subterranean termites are a type of termite are the most common type of termite in North America. They do not create mud tubes or some of the other common termite traits of some other species.

What Do Subterranean Termites Look Like?

  • Subterranean termite swarmers are winged termites that are dark brown in color and are ¼ to ½ in length 
  • Worker termites measure in at about ¼ inch, have no wings and are cream colored 
  • Soldier termites have jaws to help them chew through wood and are the same color as workers but with brown heads
Life cycle and habits of the Subterranean Termite

Subterranean Termite Lifecycle

  • A subterranean termite queen is capable of laying thousands of eggs in her lifetime 
  • If the king and queen termite happens to die, other termites in the colony will begin developing reproductive organs. These termites are called “secondary reproductives” 
  • Worker termites will tend to the young and care of the habitat to ensure the colony’s survival

Subterranean Termite Facts

  • Subterranean termites are the most destructive termites in the U.S. 
  • These termites create mud tubes to avoid the elements and reach food sources 
  • Subterranean termites are most active in the spring when groups of reproductive termites start growing their own colony

Dealing with termite infestations?

The key to termite prevention lies in keeping wood as dry as possible and sealing up any cracks in your home, but sometimes an infestation is inevitable.

Termites can lead to costly repairs, so you want to make sure you utilize the most effective treatment the first time. DIY solutions often prove ineffective and do not prevent re-infestation. Ehrlich’s careful property evaluation, bait and monitoring stations, and customized treatment plan provide your best solution to a termite infestation. Our highly qualified technicians offer treatments that are tailored to your specific situation and are safe for your family.

It helps to call in the experts who have the tools and methods to figure out the types of termites which are invading and provide just the right solution to get rid of the infestation and prevent a return.

Dampwood Termites

(Termopsidae)

Dampwood termites are the type of termite which create mud tubes because they have to stay moist. They will find wet structures and create mud tube highways back to their main nest and infest a property to devour wood.

What Do Dampwood Termites Look Like?

  • Dampwood termites are about ⅜ in. to ¾ in. long 
  • Dampwood solider termites have a flattened brown head with long dark brown mandibles, or long teeth 
  • Reproductives have dark brown wings and dark brown bodies 
  • Nymphs are cream colored with a spotted pattern on their abdomen
Life cycle and habits of the Dampwood Termite

Dampwood Termite Lifecycle

  • The dampwood termite has a similar lifecycle as other species, including egg and larval stages 
  • They don’t have a worker caste, similar to the drywood termite

Dampwood Termite Facts

  • Dampwood termites typically don’t invade housing structures due to their need for moisture. But, housing structures must be cared for to reduce moisture collection otherwise these structures may be susceptible to dampwood termite infestations 
  • Dampwood termites are typically found in logs, stumps and dead trees

Drywood Termites

(Cryptotermes brevis)

A drywood termite is a type of termite which does not need to live in the ground like subterranean termites and instead create their nests right inside the wood.

What Do Drywood Termites Look Like?

  • Drywood termite swarmers have a pair of wings but after they swarm, their wings fall off. Their wings have a dark vein that outline it 
  • Drywood termite swarmers can be up to 12 mm long 
  • Drywood termite soldiers have large mouthparts and a cream-colored body with dark brown head
Life cycle and habits of the Drywood Termite

Drywood Termite Lifecycle

  • Drywood termites begin as eggs, hatch and then go through three staging of molting. Molting is when the termite grows, it forms a new exoskeleton inside the old exoskeleton 
  • Drywood termites don’t have a caste system, rather the young termite does the work before reaching full maturity

Drywood Termite Facts

  • A drywood termite colony can contain up to 2,500 termites 
  • Drywood termites love warm temperatures, which is why they are most active during a rise in temperature 
  • Drywood termites have been found to chew through wooden support beams, floors and walls

Ehrlich knows the types of termites

Our highly trained termite specialists are ready to help determine the type of termite infesting your home and property and we know the difference between the different types of termite damage to determine for sure. We offer various termite treatments and can offer a plan to get rid of termites and prevent them from coming back.

The first step is to call Ehrlich Pest Control or use our online contact form to get a property inspection to start the process.


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