Types of Dampwood Termites and Identification

Dampwood termites are not just one type of termite. The damp wood is the material they eat, which is any wood that has been in contact with soil for a long time. There are three different dam pwood termites: Eastern Subterranean Termite, Western Dampwood Termite and Southern Dampwoods Termites. All three have similar habits but vary in size and color according to their location.  

Dampwood termites identification is essential for homeowners who want to take preventative measures against these destructive insects or know how to identify infestations if they do occur. The following information will help you understand what damp wood termites look like so you can be more prepared should one find its way into your home.

Dampwood Termite

A Dampwood termite is a large social and dominant insect that lives in moist and humid climates. They can be found in the Pacific Northwest and parts of Florida. The size of the termite varies from three to six millimeters.

The physical appearance of a Dampwood termite is unique compared with other termites found in the same area. They are brown and have three body sections, with wings on the second and third sections. The back end of the main thorax has large mandibles that can easily be seen when their sheaths do not cover them.

In addition to their appearance, they have several unique physical traits that allow them to be easily differentiated from other termites. For example, they have very long antennae and legs and do not possess teeth in their jaws. In addition, their heads can reach up to one-third of their total body length. In addition, most of their body segments have a straight line across them, making them easily identifiable from other termites found in the same area.

Dampwood termites do not eat wood as a main diet. Instead, they prefer decaying wood and fungi which can be easily found in moist climates. They infest damp or water-damaged buildings by tunneling through foundations, plumbing and walls.

Eastern Subterranean Termite

The eastern subterranean termite has a brownish body with wings that cover its entire abdomen. It also has three pairs of spines on the side of its head. The first pair is curved downward, the second pair goes back towards the vertex of the head, and the third pair is at an angle to each other. It also has two pairs of antennae that are segmented and have eleven segments at their ends.

Eastern Subterranean Termites are the most destructive of the three species of termites that inhabit North America. They are also more difficult to control than other termite species, and infestations require constant monitoring.

Subterranean termites live in colonies that may contain several thousand individuals. A mature colony is composed of workers, soldiers, nymphs (young adults), and reproductive individuals called alates (winged termites). The mature colony occupies an underground shelter such as a hollow tree trunk or log, the soil immediately below it, or spaces in the soil as deep as 5 feet (1.5 m).

The life cycle of a subterranean termite begins when winged termites known as alates leave the colony and mate in the air. The male dies soon after mating, but females land and feed for one to two days before shedding their wings through an involuntary process called autogenesis. The alates then search for a suitable place to begin a new colony, such as a fallen tree or a weakened area in the soil near the surface. An alate will break through grass or other vegetation to find an opening and crawl into a subterranean shelter.

The female becomes the queen and her primary goal is to establish the first generation of workers. The queen lays eggs that hatch into nymphs, which grow to adulthood in about two years. The workers maintain and expand the colony by foraging for wood and excavating it to provide room for additional egg production. They also care for existing reproductives (queen or king) and develop alates and feed the other colony members.

Western Dampwood Termite

Western Dampwood Termite is an insect in the order Isoptera. Western Dampwood Termites are native to North America, but they are also found in Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Western Dampwood Termite has co-evolved with the trees that they live in. These little critters bore into a tree and then extract nutrients from the woody parts of the tree, but at very tiny levels, you can’t notice it. 

They place their eggs inside rotting trees, where their offspring will hatch and then eat the wood while growing up. Western Dampwood Termite also uses trees to protect from predators, such as birds and lizards.

Western Dampwood Termite is a giant termite with a vast body and rectangular head. Its colors are dark brown to black. They have two pairs of orange wings that they usually fold back along with their bodies when they’re not flying. Their antennae are straight and extend out from between their eyes.

Western Dampwood Termite feeds on moist or decaying wood, which you can usually find in the Pacific Northwest region of America. They will eat through almost all wood types, including hardwoods and softwoods. Western Dampwood Termite takes about a year to reach maturity. Their lifespan is about a month, but they can lay as many as ten eggs at once.

Southern Dampwoods Termites

Southern damp wood termites are native to the south of the United States. They are often found in moist forests with high deciduous content. Southern damp wood termites are social insects that inhabit important structural members of dry wooded buildings and infest cellulose-containing materials in homes, furniture, and other facilities. These termites can cause severe damage to these structures after residing for an extended period.

Southern damp wood termites are often confused with subterranean termites because they look similar. However, there are a few key differences. First, southern damp wood termites have much larger alates (winged reproductives) than subterranean termite swarms. 

These flying insects are about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long, with a light yellow-brown or almost white color. A southern damp wood termite swarm is more massive than the subterranean species and contains many individuals. Third, the nymphs of the south.

Damp wood species are similar to western dry wood termites but have darker pigmentation on the abdomen. Southern damp wood termites can be distinguished from other dry wood termite species by the presence of unique egg-shaped structures called “pulos.” These are grayish-brown in color and protrude slightly above the posterior end of the termite.

Southern damp wood termites reproduce by swarming, a process by which winged reproductives are generated. However, swarming is not the only type of reproduction. Most individuals in a colony reproduce sexually, with unfertilized eggs developing into female workers and fertilized eggs developing into males and females called princes, which are larger than the workers. The reproductive caste members travel to small chambers made of chewed wood fibers. The reproductive termites then pair off and form a royal chamber, where they exchange sperm in a process called “nuptial feeding.” Once the male dies, the female lays eggs that develop into workers.

The average life expectancy is about two years, while an adult male lives for four months to one year. Females can live up to four years. All colony members are considered adults, but their growth is completed during the final immature stage before adulthood. The time needed for development from egg to adult varies with temperature and species, ranging from 30 days at 90°F to about 109 days at 70°F.

How to Get Rid of Termite

Termites are one of the most destructive pests in the world. They can cause severe damage to your home, and without professional help, there’s little you can do besides try to prevent them from advancing. To get rid of termites, you need to eliminate the infestation by removing nearby food sources, securely closing off all entry points, and treating any damaged wood with chemicals. 

To prevent termites from infesting your home in the first place, you should inspect it regularly for any signs of damage. You can also buy deterrents, including chemical sprays and termite traps.

While termites aren’t directly harmful to you, they can still be dangerous. If the population is high enough, their presence could lead to severe structural damage, putting you and your entire household in danger. 

To eliminate termite infestations efficiently and quickly, hire a pest control company with non-toxic methods, such as special chemicals and traps.

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