Dampwood termites are just one type of termite that can take over your home. The slight differences in each type of termite are key in correct identification, which is important for treatment. They are larger than other termites and are unique in that they do not have a worker caste. They make their homes in damp and decaying wood.
Appearance and Life-cycle:
The dampwood termites are larger than the subterranean termites. They are long and narrow with an oval shape. They have wings, 6 legs, and antennae.
There are different castes, and each caste has a specific, distinct appearance.
The swarmers have wings and can be 25mm long. They have straight antennae and 4 fours of equal length wings.
The soldiers have large heads with mandibles on the front. They can be up to 20mm long.
Unlike other types of termites, dampwood termites do not have a worker caste. Instead, the immature termites do the work. They are also referred to as “false workers”.
Habitat and Behavior:
Dampwood termites are common on the Pacific coast, but they are also found in the southwest desert and in southern Florida. They do not normally nest in soil. Instead, they take over damp, decaying wood found on the ground.
A pair of winged swarmers mate and start a colony in a piece of wood. They only produce a few eggs in the first year. The colonies typically stay fairly small, but in good conditions and going untreated, the colonies can become large.
Level of Danger:
Dampwood termites do not carry any diseases, so they are dangerous to humans. They are, however, very dangerous to your home. They can cause thousands of dollars in damage. The longer it goes untreated, the more damage they will do. If you think that your home may be infested with dampwood termites, or any other type of termite, it is important to call the professionals at Nashville Pest Control. to take care of the problem as soon as possible to minimize the damage.
Signs of Infestation:
There are a few things you can look for to know if your home is infested with dampwood termites, but remember it is best to get a professional to inspect your home to be sure.
Wood that has been damaged will not have tunnels. Typically, wood that has been infested with dampwood termites will be clean and smooth on the inside, because they eat across the grain.
Sometimes they use their fecal pellets to seal their homes from outside air. If the wood is damp, it might stick to the sides, but if the wood is dry, it may fall into their home.
You might also see the swarmers flying around your home, but they can be confused with winged ants.
One of the biggest things you can do to help prevent and control an infestation of dampwood termites is to fix moisture problems. Fixing plumbing problems, leaks in the roof or siding, wood that is touching the ground, and rainwater drainage will help remove the food source for these termites. After that, damaged wood can be replaced. It can even be helpful to use treated wood.
But those things are not guaranteed to get rid of the entire colony. To completely eliminate your home, call Nashville Pest Control.