Scientific Name: Reticulitermes flavipes
The eastern subterranean termite is part of the Rhinotermitidae family, along with other subterranean and some dampwood termites.
Distribution in the U.S.
The eastern subterranean termite is found in three-quarters of the continental United States. It can be found from Maine to Florida and from Montana to the Gulf Coast in Texas.
Eastern subterranean termites live in colonies that range from 60,000 to more than 1 million termites. These termites attack dead wood and occasionally infest living trees or shrubs, though this behavior is more common in Canada than in the U.S.
Do Eastern Subterranean Termites Damage Homes?
This eastern termite can attack man-made structures. Because it is the most widely distributed termite in the U.S., it is likely responsible for the greatest amount of damage to homes and businesses.
Because this termite is subterranean in nature, a home is most vulnerable where there is direct wood-to-ground contact (a common entry point) or where moisture problems exist.
What Do Eastern Subterranean Termites Look Like?
Eastern subterranean termite alates measure 3/8 inch and are dark brown or black. Their wings are lighter colored and somewhat translucent.
Soldiers also are 3/8-inch long and have dark brown, rectangular-shaped heads with dark brown thoraxes.
Eastern Subterranean Termites: soldiers are the ones with the dark heads, workers have white heads.
When Do Eastern Subterranean Termites Swarm?
Eastern subterranean termites typically swarm from February to May, with the earlier swarms taking place in the warmer southern states. In Florida, this termite is known to swarm between October and February. Winter termite swarms also have been found in heated buildings in other regions.
Eastern subterranean termites swarm during the day, often on a warm day following a rain shower.