Termite Species Spotlight: Identifying Different Types of Termites

Of all the pests you could have infesting your home, termites are probably the worst. They can quickly damage your home, causing costly repairs. 

Unfortunately, termites are common in Tennessee, especially subterranean termites. Certain areas of Tennessee are at high risk for these pests, including Jackson,  Athens, Bartlett, Brentwood, Chattanooga, Columbia, Medina, Milan, Elizabethton, Farragut, Franklin, Humboldt, Johnson, Knoxville, Memphis, Murfreesboro, Dyersburg, Springfield, Spring Hill, Trenton, Tullahoma, and Union.

There are 50 species of termites in the United States. They all fall into three categories:  subterranean, damp wood, and drywood termites. Subterranean termites are the most common. They are highly destructive to Douglas fir and other common building timbers. They can rapidly eat out the internal sections of wood, compromising its structure and integrity. 

These three categories of termites are similar, but also different in some ways. How do I know what kind of termite I have in my house/business? Read on to learn more about these three different types of termites and how they can be effectively treated by a pest control professional

Subterranean Termites

The most common kind of termites you’ll find in Tennessee are subterranean termites. As the name suggests, subterranean termites live underground. They create mud tubes, which serve as a tunnel to get them from their nest to their food sources. 

They are roughly ⅜ inch long with pale or cream-colored bodies. They have strong, saw-toothed jaws that allow them to bite off small fragments of wood. In just a short period of time, they can inflict significant damage on your home. In fact, subterranean termites are the most destructive type of termite. That’s because they are active 24/7, so they’re constantly eating and destroying structures. While subterranean termites are voracious feeders, they are somewhat picky. They only chew on the softest part of the wood found between the grains. 

Drywood Termites

Drywood termites are often difficult to detect. Except during periods when they swarm, they are seldom seen. They tend to nest inside the wood they are infesting.

Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites don’t dig mud tubes, so they do not need to be in contact with soil. Instead, they infest your home by air and require less moisture. Drywood termites eat across the grains, so they leave behind galleries that don’t follow the grain of the wood. They prefer eating furniture, picture frames, and banisters. Colonies are small, with under 1,000 termites. They can take years to mature.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites get their name from their preference for moist, decaying wood. They need moisture and humidity to survive and can be often found in rotting stumps and logs. They are about ½ inch long, making them larger than other species.

Dampwood termites can live completely within the wood that they are eating. While they are not usually found in homes, they are capable of quickly damaging fence posts or poles. These termites preserve the humidity in the wood by plugging the openings in the wood with their fecal pellets, also known as frass. Dampwood termites are mostly found in the western United States, so they’re not common in Tennessee.

Termite Treatment

If you have termites, don’t try to treat them on your own. They can be hard to eradicate, so you need a professional on your side. 

Termidor is the gold standard in termite treatment. It is an insecticide effective on subterranean termites, drywood termites, Formosan termites, and Asian termites. Termidor is formulated with the same active ingredient as the top veterinarian-recommended flea and tick protection for dogs and cats.

Termidor is odor-free and will not harm plants. It works by using undetectable technology that termites cannot smell, taste, or avoid. Instead, once they come into contact with Termidor, termites will ingest it or share it with other termites. They are completely unaware that doing so will kill them.

Termidor has been around for more than 20 years and it still works more effectively than newer products. Nothing can match the effectiveness of Termidor, which promises 100% termite control in less than 90 days. Termidor is also effective at preventing future infestations and damage to your home.

Contact Us Today

Termites are nasty pests that can cause a lot of damage to homes and businesses. If you notice signs of them, seek professional pest control right away. 

Contact Golden Circle Exterminators for prompt service and a customized termite extermination and prevention plan that works. Protect your home today. Schedule a free inspection by calling (731) 668-4887.