Thursday, November 20, 2008

Learning about different termite types is one of the first things you can do to combat infestations. The more you know about termites, the easier it'll be to deal with the problem. There are termites in almost every US state, in many different varieties. Each of them behaves a little differently, and you should use different methods to deal with them.

The Eastern Subterranean termite is one of the most prevalent termite types. They munch on tree and shrub roots, as well as other cellulose matter like wood, paper and cotton. Colonies can be anywhere from about twenty thousand to millions of termites, with thirty thousand being the average size.

Colonies can be found in varying areas of the building, with some types of Eastern subterranean termites living above ground and colonies lasting as much as thirty years. These termites aren't always visible when they swarm, so they can invisibly cause a lot of damage.

Our nest termite is a nasty one - the Formosan subterranean termite. This relatively recent, voracious visitor to the US has been called a super termite. That's because one large colony can go through 3/4 of a pound of wood in one day, producing over a thousand eggs in that time. These ruthless termites are usually found when swarming, but cause damage at any time.

Besides eating wood and other materials from the house, Formosan termites also cause bubbling walls, due to the nests they build in the walls. If you see your walls bulging unexpectedly, you might have an infestation.

because they will leave a thin honeycomb type shell.

Western subterranean termites are another of the termite types, and are the most prevalent termite on the continent's western half. These little buggers can enter a structure through a crack less than a sixteenth of an inch wide, and usually nest in the ground. You'll see above ground tunnels and swarming behavior in these creatures. These termites cause the most damage at ground level or in the basement, and prefer hot climates and urban habitats.

Desert subterranean termites are more common in dryer climates like northern Mexico, southern California and the southern part of Arizona. These types of termites have slender, straighter mandibles and deal with dry conditions much better than their cousins. They build hanging mud tubes and are even smaller than other termite types, making it easier for them to get into the house.

Drywood termites are among the more unusual termite types. They need little moisture and nest in the wood itself. That means that they can live in your flooring and furniture without you ever discovering they're there. They only come out to infest other pieces of wood, and can be very easily transported. While colony size is relatively small, you can have more than one colony in your home. You can find out they're in the house by their distinctive fecal pellets and sawdust-like wood powder on surfaces around the house.

For more information on this or termites in general go to

Thank you for your interest.