The Neotermes genus of termites includes nearly 100 species of termites. Three species are located in Florida: Neotermes castaneus, Neotermes jouteli and Neotermes luykxi.
Neotermes termites are part of the Kalotermitidae family of termites, which includes both drywood termites and some dampwood termites.
Confusion about Names
Sometimes a subterranean termite named Prorhinotermes simplex is referred to by the name “Florida dampwood termite.”
Alternately, Neotermes termites in Florida are sometimes called “southern dampwood termites.”
Distribution in the U.S.
Florida dampwood termites are found in the southern half of Florida and in the Florida Keys. Other species of Neotermes termites are located in Hawaii.
Florida dampwood termites require high humidity and access to water. They tend to nest in damp logs and untreated posts. However, some also can find suitable conditions and plentiful food in live trees.
Do Florida Dampwood Termites Damage Homes?
These termites rarely damage homes because homes often do not provide adequate moisture. However, Florida dampwood termites may infest homes that offer regular access to water, such as through roof leaks or sprinkler systems.
If these Florida termites infest a home, the colony can usually be controlled by removing the water source. If the moisture problem cannot be corrected, targeted treatment may be required to ensure effective control.
What Do Florida Dampwood Termites Look Like?
Neotermes termites are the largest termites in the eastern United States – typically larger than subterranean and drywood termites in the area. Soldiers range from 1/3 inch to just over 1/2 inch.
An alate’s wing span is approximately 1/2 inch, depending on the species. Your pest control expert can identify a Florida dampwood termite alate by an enlarged wing vein. It is found on the wings of all three Neotermes species in Florida.
When Do Florida Dampwood Termites Swarm?
Depending on the species, Florida dampwood termites swarm from late spring through early winter. (Neotermes jouteli and Neotermes luykxi swarm in late spring or summer. Neotermes castaneus swarms in late fall or early winter.) All three species swarm at dusk or night.