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Dampwood termite facts

Dampwood Termite

Color of dampwood termite

These are the biggest termites in the U.S.! Log cabins, watch out.

Dampwood termite droppings

Oval-shaped pellets about 1 mm that often clump together and may be the same color as the wood eaten.

Where are dampwood termites found?

States on the western coast of the U.S. and those adjacent. Also, the desert or semi-arid southwest, and southern Florida.

Dampwood termite nests

As the name suggests, dampwood termites nest in… damp wood. Logs, stumps, and dead, even decaying, trees will do. They will move into buildings where wood is touching the ground, or where there is a source of moisture, such as a leaky pipe.

What do dampwood termites eat?

Where there is food, there is home – wood.

Dampwood termite biology

Dampwood termites do not usually live or burrow underground. They do not need contact with damp ground, but do need wood in contact with some sort of moisture. Swarming time depends on the family.

Swarmers excavate a chamber in the wood, enter, and seal it off. They then mate, and the female (queen) lays eggs. There is no worker caste; immatures do all the work. Swarming takes place in daytime in the spring in the northern regions, and following rain in southern regions. In the fall, swarms can get pretty big in some areas.

Dampwood termite damage

Dampwood termites are architects. But it's not so fun viewing their galleries inside your house. They eat across the grain of the wood, making tunnels, chambers and galleries. Their 'artwork' also leaves something to be desired, unless you're a termite – droppings stick to the walls in moist conditions, may be used to seal off galleries, and accumulate on the bottom in dry conditions.

Dampwood termite infestations

During swarming time, they enter decaying wood from outdoors.

Dampwood termite treatment

In the case of wood-destroying pests, a registered company and state-licensed inspector will need to inspect the structure to find and identify conditions. A written report will be issued, which must list findings and appropriate recommendations as per the rules and regulations established by local regulatory agencies. 

Most importantly, check for moisture conditions and decaying wood, as this is what attracts termites. Moisture control and correction of poor building conditions are necessary to control this species. Pesticides are not necessary in most situations involving this species. 

Recommendations for replacement of damaged wood should also include recommendations for correction of the conditions that created the problem.

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