How To Identify The Termites Infesting Your Home

Before you decide on how to eliminate your termite infestation you must identify what type of termites are damaging your home or structure. In the United States there are 45 different species of termites divided into 3 major categories: subterranean, drywood, and dampwood.

Dampwood termites are not discussed below, as they are rarely the cause of damage for the average home or property owner.

Subterranean Termites

The most common type of termite to plague American property owners, subterranean termites, as the name suggests, live underground. They are noted for the large nests they build – the largest engineered by an insect living within the United States. Subterranean termites cause damage by creating mud tubes from their underground nests to their food source, which could be a patio, deck, fence, furniture, or the wood in your home.

How To Identify Them:

Subterranean termites can be easily recognized through swarmers. A heavy rainfall combined with warm temperatures will trigger a colony to send out winged males and females to reproduce (“swarmers”). After they reproduce the winged termites will shed their wings, leaving them in visible piles.

Drywood Termites

These termites are found in dried wood or wood that has been treated for construction. Drywood termites generally eat away at wooden structures at a slow rate and are found after they have caused significant damage.

How To Identify Them:

Green Heat SD says one of the easiest ways to identify drywood termites is through the swarms they create. During reproduction, the termite infestation will produce winged males and females that will leave the nest in search of new areas to colonize.

Another visible sign drywood termites have infested your home or structure is through the pellets they leave behind, also called frass. They are roughly 1mm long and hexagonal in shape.