Subterranean termites, Dampwood Termites, and Dry Wood Termites are among the termites that cause damage in south Florida. This page will provide you with useful information about each major species of termites. Knowing the termite species you are dealing with is important because treatment measures are different depending on the species. These treatments can differ in cost, application, method, and product used.

Dry Wood Termites

The West Indian dry wood termite is one of the most common termite species and is extremely common in the southeastern United States. Because the feces of this species are smaller than those of other dry wood termites, they are often referred to as "powderpost termites." The West Indian dry wood termite, unlike other dry wood termite species, is prone to attacking small furniture such as table legs.

The most common dry wood termite in the eastern United States is the southeastern drywood termite. It is a very dominant species in the southeastern United States, along with the West Indian dry wood termite, but colonies are typically larger for the southeastern termites. Swarmers of this species are 7/16 inch long, yellow to yellowish-brown in color, and have translucent wings. Swarms are typically fraught with danger.

Although it is a non-native termite, the western dry wood termite can be found in many parts of the South. This species is the most common dry wood termite pest in the western United States, swarming from late August to November.

Signs of dry wood termite infestation

The six-sided fecal pellets of drywood termites, known as frass, are a good indicator of an infestation . These fecal pellets are extracted from drywood termite nests via small 1 to 2 mm diameter "kick-out holes." These are typically found in mounds and are described as resembling sawdust or coffee grounds. These are typically light tan to almost black in color.

Surface blistering or warping is an indication of an advanced infestation if fecal pellets are difficult to identify. Blistering occurs frequently as a result of termites tunneling directly beneath the outer surface of the wood, giving it a blistered appearance. When this is visible, it is necessary to open the wood to ensure that you are dealing with a drywood termite infestation. pounding on the wood

Damp Wood Termites

Swarmers (average length 12 inch, or 14 mm) are generally larger than subterranean and drywood termite swarmers (average length 1/3 inch, or 10 mm or less (Figure 3). Soldiers are approximately 34 inches long, with the head and jaws accounting for approximately one-third of their total length. They have a cream body and a reddish brown to blackish head. Nymphs are approximately 12 inches long.

Signs of damp wood termite infestation

Finding dampwood termite infestations can be difficult due to the lack of visible external evidence of their presence; they do not produce mud tubes or create visible open holes in the wood. To keep themselves from drying out, they hide well in the wood, plugging holes with fecal material. A dampwood termite infestation can be detected by tapping wood that sounds hollow or feels soft.

Swarmers of drywood and dampwood termites are a good indicator of an existing infestation. Termites' wings, but not their bodies, are frequently discovered by homeowners. This is due to the fact that swarmers shed their wings after a short flight. Termites are typically slow fliers that will only travel a few feet before settling down, unless wind currents are present.

Treatments For Dry Wood & Damp Wood Termites

An inspection is a critical step in both preventing damaging populations of drywood termites and eradicating existing infestations. A thorough inspection must be performed before control can be properly applied, both to identify the extent of the infestation and to allow proper planning of the con The most common sign of drywood termite infestation is piles of fecal pellets pushing out of the galleries through the "kick-out" holes. The color of the dry, barrel-shaped fecal pellets varies, but they resemble coarse sand grains. They collect on horizontal surfaces beneath the kick-out holes. These holes are most commonly found in infested woodwork's joints and cracks. When fecal pellets are propelledtrol operation.

Low-cost, convenient methods can be used for small infestations, such as when a door frame, window frame, furniture, or a limited portion of wooden elements are infested. Termiticide injections into termite galleries will expose some individuals in the colony directly to the pesticide, while others will be exposed indirectly through termite grooming behavior. Dusts, liquids, sprays, and foams are all acceptable.

Fumigation is a popular method for controlling whole-structure termite infestations. Although fumigation is very effective when used correctly, it leaves no residue, and reinfestations can occur if no other preventive measures are taken to keep drywood termites from reinvading the structure. One of the most significant disadvantages of fumigation is that the structure's occupants, whether commercial or residential, are exposed to the fumes.

Subterranean Termites

Amitermes floridensis is the only termite found in the eastern United States that belongs to the highly specialized termite family Termitidae. It is an ancient scrubland relic of an Amitermes distribution that once spanned Texas and the Gulf region, found only in Florida. Despite the fact that astute pest control operators were aware of this termite decades ago, Amitermes floridensis

A. floridensis, like other subterranean termites, constructs a network of foraging galleries that connect the nest chambers in the soil with feeding sites above and below ground. A. floridensis colonies are divided into three castes: reproductives (king, queen, unmated winged forms called alates, and immatures called nymphs), soldiers, and Alates of Amitermes floridensis develop from nymphs that appear in the colony before the flight season. Nymphs look like large workers, but they have wing pads and less abdominal coloration than workers. Alates have two pairs of smooth-textured, darkly pigmented wings that are roughly equal in size and shape. Two darkened and enlarged veins run through each wing (subcosta and radial sector)workers. A. floridensis workers are genuine.

The soldiers are tiny (less than 3.5 mm long), with a bulbous orange head and sickle-shaped black mandibles. They are distinguished from other Florida subterranean termites by the presence of a prominent conical tooth near the base of each mandible. The soldiers have an opening near the front of the head called the fontanelle through which a mixture of ant-repelling, volatile compounds known as venom is secreted.

Treatments for Subterranean Termites

Soil Termiticides

Pre-treatment  Using a liquid termiticide on the soil creates a chemical barrier beneath the structure. Depending on the chemical, termites will either avoid tunneling through treated soil or will die shortly after coming into contact with it. Until the mid-1990s, soil termiticides were the standard preventive treatment for subterranean termites. Termiticides are used prior to the installation of the slab

Post-construction care. When termites infest a structure after it has been built, termiticides are applied using one of three methods: rodding, drilling, or trenching. In the first, termiticide is injected directly into the soil at regular intervals around the perimeter of the house and beneath the slab using a rodder, which is an injection tool with a long, hollow metal rod with an open tip


Baiting systems can be used instead of liquid termiticides. They were developed in the early 1990s and are effective against the Formosan subterranean termite. Baiting entails burying bait stations in the soil around the house. The stations contain small pieces of wood (in some products, the stations contain both wood and bait) and are inspected on a regular basis for termites.
Pest management professionals and commercially available baiting systems use a variety of baiting systems. Some contain insect growth regulators (IGRs) as an active ingredient (AI). These are chemical compounds that function as termite hormones, preventing termites from developing normally. Other AIs keep termites from obtaining energy from their food.

Aboveground bait stations are also available and used when termites are discovered in walls, doors, posts, flooring, and other structures. The stations are strategically placed in termite-infested areas so that the termites can immediately begin feeding on the bait.

Advantages of baiting are:

  • It is non-invasive (the baits are odorless and no liquid is involved so the soil remains pesticide-free).
  • Technicians usually do not need to enter the house (unless in-ground stations are needed indoors).
  • Drilling through floors and walls is usually not required.
  • There is no exposure to the active ingredient because it is self-contained within the bait station.
  • Only a small amount of an active ingredient (sometimes less than 1/20 oz.) is used for an entire treatment.
  • The active ingredients are relatively harmless to humans and so little is used it makes it even safer.

The main disadvantage is that control is not immediate. It may take from several months to over a year to rid the home of termites.

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