Scientific Name: Zootermopsis angusticollis
This termite belongs to the Hodotermitidae family.
Distribution in the U.S.
The Pacific dampwood termite is found in California, Oregon and Washington. It is most common in damp, coastal areas and is the largest, most destructive dampwood termite in the U.S.
As part of the Hodotermitidae family, the Pacific dampwood termite is sometimes referred to as a rottenwood termite because it attacks very moist wood.
Do Pacific Dampwood Termites Damage Homes?
Dampwood termites can cause significant damage. They rarely infest sound wood. However, once a Pacific dampwood termite colony has infested wood with high moisture content, it can move into adjoining areas of dry wood.
This Pacific termite does not require soil contact. However, wood-to-ground contact in a home’s construction often leads to dampwood infestations. Homes built over or near water, or with wood buried in the ground, are more likely to be infested.
What Do Pacific Dampwood Termites Look Like?
The Pacific dampwood termite is the largest termite native to the U.S. Pacific dampwood termite kings, queens and alates can exceed 1 inch in length, including their wings. They are dark brown and have brown wings.
Nymphs measure about 1/2 inch and are cream colored with spots on their abdomens.
Soldiers measure about 3/4 inch and are cream colored with dark-colored heads that range from reddish-brown to black.
When Do Pacific Dampwood Termites Swarm?
Swarms tend to occur on warm, humid evenings during the late summer or early fall. Due to their smaller colony size (as many as 4,000 members), Pacific dampwood termite colonies produce smaller swarms – typically less than 60 termites each.