6 Different Types of Termites

Different Types of Termites
Photo by Jeremy Bezanger

Termites are a well-known pest no matter where you are in the world, and different types of termites can produce enormous populations.

Some of them have names we can’t even begin to pronounce, let alone identify. However, those pesky termites always manage to draw our attention to the damage they cause.

“Silent destroyers” is a name given to termites because of their ability to gnaw through wood, flooring, and even wallpaper without being seen.

Explorers, also called swarmers, are dispatched in search of suitable habitats like buildings that have been damaged over the winter and may now be more welcoming to these insects.

 Swarmers look like winged or flying ants, so it’s easy to mistake them for ants if you see them inside your home. If swarmers decide your house is ideal for them, the rest of the colony will almost certainly follow.

So that you can recognize the many termite species and take appropriate precautions, this article provides a comprehensive list of termite species.

Without further ado, let’s delve into six main different types of termites in detail.

1. Desert Termites

These termite species originated in the deserts, as the name implies. Because of their origin, they like to develop their colonies in sandy places.

If the terrain isn’t sandy enough, these termites will go to great lengths to artificially make it porous, all in the name of building a home that’s pleasant enough to live in.

Moisture is scarce in sunny deserts. The bugs will create granules of soil and saliva to keep themselves moist.

If you reside in an apartment, you should not be concerned about desert termite infestation. The only exception is if you have a garden inside your house.

2. Conehead Termites

Second on our list of different types of termites is the conehead termites, well-known for their aggressive soldiers. The soldiers’ heads are conical on top, eventually leading to the insect’s nickname. 

As you’ve probably noticed, each termite species has a favorite type of wood. Conehead termites’ favorite meal is cellulose polymers.

In other words, these termites are a pest to timber and trees. The coneheads don’t mind if the wood is soft, hard, wet, or dry.

They will eat anything that includes cellulose. As a result, your garden, house, tool shed, siding, and even most types of wood fences are vulnerable to infestation.

3. Dampwood Termites

Unlike other different types of termites species, this termite species is the only one that is not soil-dependent; this increases their impact and risk meter compared to all other termites on our list.

Consider a termite that does not require soil to establish a colony. In other words, a colony could form within the planks of your hardwood bed frames while you are unaware.

The explanation is simple: they will establish a colony if they get upon dampened wood. Infestation begins on moist wooden pieces as well as living trees. Because they consume so quickly, they can destroy several square meters of crops.

The colony may thrive on a single wood plank if it becomes moist enough. Because of their reddish-brown pigmentation and strong caste system, these termites are easily identified. 

So, if you discover fecal pellets and shredded wings with red termite indications, you’ll know who’s to blame.

One should note that the simplest way to eliminate such an infestation is to discard wet planks after wrapping and sealing them in polythene.

Typically, burning or dumping afflicted wood acts as a treatment. However, don’t hesitate to contact pest control if you fear a large-scale attack. 

Sub-Types Include

4. Drywood Termites

If you’ve ever been to the country, you’ve probably spotted micro-balls or dirt surrounding tiny holes. These particles are known as fecal pellets, which are dry wood termites’ wake-up signals.

These termites have a slender body and a variety of winged forms. They not only dig underground, but they also fly to infest the higher ground. As a result, if you wish to engage with them, you must automatically be concerned.

Again, there is no discrete worker class in the colony. As a result, the number of Swarmers and Reproducers is high.

In other words, they are more adaptable to colony expansion than other termites. Unlike other termites, these are not black. They have a considerably creamier color hue, which makes them stand out.

Drywood termites, unlike many other different types of termites species, are not driven by moisture; therefore, you can discover them on a warm, bright day.

These species prefer dry wood, such as firewood and discarded wood. This is why people refer to them as dry wood termites. They can creep into your wood stack and even the handles of your fire pit tools, so keep an eye out.

The colony grows when we move infested furniture or pieces of wood without being cautious. So, the first step toward prevention is to be wary of any wood that appears suspicious.

If you have huge trees on your property, make sure to clean up any large branches that fall to the ground. Finally, prevent scattering scraps around your property. It’s worth it to pay attention to staying clean and sanitary.

Sub-Types Include

  • Desert Drywood
  • Southeastern Drywood
  • Western Drywood

5. Formosan termites

One of the different types of termites are the Formosan termites. These termites may appear similar to subterranean termites. However, there are some differences. They have six legs and are relatively thin.

If there is an infestation around you, the termites will most likely congregate near light sources. There will either be discarded fans or termite bodies. You’re probably fine if you don’t come across any of these.

The Formosan termite prefers wood. Looking for hollow or eaten away wood is another approach to check for infestation. If you suspect an infestation based on the above indicators, it’s time to call a pest control company.

6. Subterranean Termites 

The last mention on our list of different types of termites is the Subterranean termites. These termites live underground and construct large colonies.

Subterranean termites can be highly cunning insects. These termites are well-known for creating simple routes to their food from their store. Even though they are only 0.13 inches long, they can unleash havoc when the time comes.

Their color can range from cream-white to deep brownish tones. However, considering how busy you are with your daily responsibilities, they are unlikely to emerge in front of you.

Some termite species, such as subterranean termites, can work quickly and quietly before you notice; be cautious. Mature colonies do not form in clean areas.

So, if your property is left filthy for an extended period, it is more likely to be infested by these termites.

Getting rid of clogged water and moisture in and out of the house is the most effective way to prevent termite infestation. Keep damp wood to a minimum.

Finally, perform annual pest control. In addition, Subterranean termites are the most common on this list of different types of termites.

Sub-Types Include

  • Arid-Land Subterranean
  • Dark Southeastern Subterranean
  • Desert Subterranean
  • Eastern Subterranean
  • Formosan Termites
  • Western Subterranean
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