Dampwood Termite

dampwood-termite-soldier_180x140Dampwood termites typically are found in the western states, from Washington to Montana and down through California and Texas. They also can be found from central to southern Florida.

As you can see in these dampwood termite pictures, these termites most often are found in damp wood, such as logs, stumps and other decaying wood. Most dampwood termites do not require soil contact.

Dampwood Termite Colonies
Compared to subterranean termite colonies, dampwood termite colonies tend to be fairly small. A mature colony might grow to 4,000 termites.

Dampwood termites inhabit and feed on wood with high moisture content. Since most homes do not have very moist structural timbers, dampwood termites are not classified as major structural pests in the United States. However, if your home has damp wood, termites can infest it and build nests. When dampwood termites infest homes, their point of entry is often wood-to-ground contact.

Signs of Dampwood Termite Infestation
Signs of dampwood termite infestation include small swarms of flying termites and fecal pellets. Both dampwood and drywood termites leave behind small mounds of fecal pellets. However, drywood termite pellets are six-sided and dry, while dampwood termite pellets are moist and not as well defined in shape. It is unlikely that you will see dampwood termite damage, as worker termites typically plug all holes in wood with fecal material.

Dampwood Termite Control
If dampwood termites have established a colony in your home, your first priority should be to address moisture issues. When the colony’s source of water is removed, most dampwood termites will dry out and die. Team up with a contractor to identify and correct the water problem, which may be caused by leaky pipes, a leaky roof, faulty gutters or air conditioner condensation lines.

Then, contact your pest control expert to complete an inspection for any continued activity. If the water issue cannot be corrected, your pest control expert may be able to treat the wood with termiticide. However, some chemicals are diluted by water and may not be as effective.

In some cases, you will be achieve the most effective termite control by making structural changes, such as replacing damp, infested wood.