Like many different pests, termites found in the United States can be one of several different species. Unlike other types of pests, the three species of termite which commonly cause problems in the country have to be dealt with in different ways in order to affect a long term solution to the problem. In this article, we will take a look at the three different termite species, how to identify which species is causing you a problem in your house, and in one case we will discuss treatment options.

Subterranean Termites

* Geography: Subterranean termites are the most commonly found termite pest in the United States. They are concentrated along the Gulf and in the South.

* Habitat: As their name suggests, subterranean termites build their nests in the ground. This make prevention a bit easier for this species, because all you have to do is make sure that nothing made from wood on your house is in direct contact with the ground. They get to the wood on the house through mud tubes that extend from their nest.

* Appearance: There are four different types of subterranean termites; the queen, winged reproducers, soldiers, and workers. Workers are what cause the damage to your home; they are white with dark heads and about 1/2 an inch long. Soldiers are a bit large, black, and have elongated heads. Reproducers are winged and black, and may be the first sign that there is a termite problem in your house. You will never see a full fledged queen until you find the nest; she is large and white, like a maggot, but with a termite head.

* Treatment: There are several different ways to treat a sub problem and we deal with them in a separate article.

Damp wood Termites

* Geography: Dampwood termites live up and down the West Coast.

* Habitat: Dampwood termites nest in wood, and as their name suggests they prefer that it is kept quite damp.

* Appearance: Dampwood termites have only three types, soldiers, the queen, and reproducers. They are the largest of the three termite species, the soldiers being up to 3/4 of an inch long. It is also the soldiers who do the damage to your property. They have large heads and unlike subs, produce oval sized fecal pellets which indicate their presence.

* Treatment: Although there are several different treatments that may work with the other two species of termite as well as different steps, the best way to treat dampwood termites is to dry out wet wood and replace it. They can’t live without the moisture, and will soon die. It is never necessary to spray for this species.

Dry Wood Termites

* Geography: Drywood termites are found in southern, coastal areas of the country.

* Habitat: Drywood termites can live in any type of wood, and don’t need to have their nests in contact with the ground either. This makes it a bit harder to prevent an infestation.

* Appearance: As with subs, there are four different types of drywood termite, and in general they have the same appearance. The difference is in size, with drywoods being in between dampwoods and subs. Also, drywood termites put out feces, like dampwoods, but their pellets are oval with six sides.

* Treatment: As treating a drywood termite problem is a bit more involved than dampwoods, we have provided a separate article on the subject.

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