Facts, Identification & Control
Size: Dampwood termites are much larger then the subterranean termites that are common across the country. Note: there are several species of dampwood termites in the United States.
Swarmers: The swarmers (winged termites) can be 25 mm long, including their wings.
Soldiers: The soldiers can be as large as 20 mm.
Immature: The immature termites can be as much as 20 mm long. The immature termites do the work in the colony.
Dampwood termites often weaken homes by hollowing out support beams. This can lead to costly repairs, causing a great deal of frustration. The silent and secretive nature of these pests makes dampwood termite activity difficult to recognize until it becomes severe.
To remain hidden, dampwood termites do not construct mud tubes, rather they cover up their entry holes with their own feces. Since wood infested by dampwood termites has very high moisture content, the wood they infest can also be damaged by fungus. As one might expect, a dampwood termite infestation often indicates wood decay, as well as leaks that create excessive moisture in the home.
Continuous Treatment Plans
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Based on the layout of your home and the degree of termite infestation, Orkin will create a treatment plan tailored for your home.
Dampwood termites do not usually have contact with the soil. They do not make tunnels like the subterranean termites.
Wood that dampwood termites have damaged usually looks clean and smooth inside. They often eat across the grain, especially in wood that is decayed.
The dampwood termites sometimes use their fecal pellets to seal the galleries where they live from the outside air. If the wood is fairly dry, the fecal pellets may fall to the bottom of the gallery. If the wood is very damp, the fecal pellets may stick to the sides of the termite galleries.
Large winged swarmers, winged males and females, are produced for the purpose of mating and starting new colonies. These may be confused with winged ants, but the termites have straight antennae, four pairs of equal length wings and a straight sided body.
Where do they live?
Dampwood termites get their name from the damp, sometimes decaying, wood that they use to locate their colonies. Dampwood termites do not typically nest in the soil. They will invade wood that is on the ground, especially if it is decaying.
Dampwood termites are common along the Pacific coast. They are considered an economic pest. There are also dampwood termites in the Southwest desert and in southern Florida.