4 Types of Termites

4 Types of Termites

Termites are ant-like insects that are known to cause some of the worst damages to people’s property. Interestingly, termites have caused more damages in Florida than storms and fires. This is why homeowners should be informed about these infestious pests. There are many different types of termites in the world. But, there are four main types of termites that pose big threats to homeowners in North America.

The four main types of termites are subterranean termites, Formosan termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites. If you are in Central Florida and you suspect any of these termites in your home, contact your certified home inspector and licensed termite inspector, Paul Professional Home Inspection at 407-541-9342.

Subterranean Termites

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Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive and widespread termites in the United States. These termites are commonly found in every state except for Alaska. The two main categories of the subterranean termite is the Eastern subterranean termite and the Western subterranean termite.

Subterranean termites form colonies underground which makes them difficult to spot. A single colony of subterranean termites can contain over 100,000 termites. In addition, subterranean termites like to eat cellulose which can be found in plants and wood. They see your home as a great resource for food and take advantage of that.

Moreover, these termites often enter homes through tiny cracks in the foundation of your walls. They start underground, then they forage up to your home in search of food. In the process, they form a network of interconnected feeding sites all over your home.

The best way to identify these pests is to look for blistered or peeling wood. Termites hollow out the wood leaving it very thin. By the time you start noticing these signs of termites, your home may have already been infested.

Formosan Termites

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Formosan termites are invasive subterranean termites that live in the ground and are known to build mud tubes underground and construct carton nests which consist of soil and wood cemented together with saliva and feces. They are 1/2-inch long; they can be pale yellow or brownish yellow.

Formosan termites can be found in the Gulf Coast states, along the eastern seaboard north to North Carolina, California, and Hawaii. In addition, a lot of Formosan subterranean termites can be found in nearly all of the major urban areas of Florida.

Furthermore, Formosan termites form much larger colonies than that of regular subterranean termites. It is because of the large population size that Formosan subterranean termite colonies cause more structural damages in shorter periods of time than subterranean termites. The average Formosan termite colony size can exceed well over a million termites.

Drywood Termites

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Drywood termites can be found in the southern parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and all of Florida.

These types of termites like to attack wood structures, support beams, wood flooring and furniture. Their primary source of nutrition is from wood and they do not require moisture from soil. Drywood termites are difficult to treat because they often create multiple colonies within a home.

Drywood termite colonies develop slowly. The entire colony may take five years or more to mature. Drywood termites’ legs are actually shorter than subterranean termites’ legs, as well, and they move slower as a result.

Dampwood Termites

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Dampwood termites are occasionally found in Southwest and Southern Florida. These termites have reddish-brown heads and are larger than other termites

Like drywood termites, dampwood termites can survive without soil. They are attracted to wood with high moisture. For example, decaying wood, areas with leaks and woodpiles are preferred by these termites. Dampwood termites are less likely to invade a home because of their need for free water source.


In conclusion, all homeowners should stay alert for any signs of termites in their home. Termites are more common in southern areas, but all homeowners in the US are susceptible to the pesty creatures. Termites are only one of the major wood destroying organisms we look out for at Paul Professional Home Inspection. Call 407-541-9342 to get your home inspected!

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