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Color Icon

Color: Creamy white to brownish

Size Icon

Size: 1/2" - 5/8 inch long

Leg Icon

Legs: 6

Antennae Icon

Antennae: Yes

Shape Icon

Shape: Long, narrow and oval

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Region: Found throughout the pacific coastal and adjacent states, the desert or semi-arid southwest, and southern Florida

What is a Dampwood Termite?

As their name suggests, dampwood termites, are a termite species that infest damp and sometimes decaying wood with high moisture content. They are normally larger in size than other termite species, even though their colony sizes are among the smallest. Dampwood colonies are populated by three castes:

  1. The reproductives (king and queen)
  2. Soldiers
  3. Nymphs

What Do Dampwood Termites Look Like?

All dampwood termites have a creamy white to brownish color. Soldiers have large heads with mandibles (pincers) on the front.  They are long, narrow, and oval in shape, and can range in size from 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch.

Dampwood Termite Habitats

Dampwood termites thrive in wood with a high moisture content. They are usually found in:

  • Logs
  • Stumps
  • Dead trees
  • Fence posts
  • Utility poles

This species can be found throughout the pacific coastal and adjacent states They can also be found in the desert or semi-arid southwest and southern Florida.

Dampwood Termite Habits

Dampwood termite colonies, like drywood termite colonies, have no worker caste. The nymphs take care of the kings and queens and feed the soldiers. Dampwood termites create a series of chambers in wood, which are connected by tunnels with smooth walls, as if sandpapered.

Dampwood termites, unlike other termites, do not construct mud tubes and can live completely within the wood they are eating. They cover up their entry holes with their own feces. Dampwood termites can extend their activity from wet or damp wood into relatively dry wood, and can work their way upward from the foundation of a building to the roof rafters.Should you suspect an infestation, it’s important to reach out to a licensed pest control professional for dampwood termite treatment to your property.

Threats from Dampwood Termites

Like all termite species, dampwood termites can cause serious damage to a home since they can hollow out entire support beams. This species and all other termites cause a collective $5 billion in property damage each year. Even though they do not commonly infest structures because of their need for excessive moisture, you still don’t want to find them on your property, making it important to follow proper prevention methods.

Signs of an Infestation

Dampwood termites are hard to spot, since they hide to prevent moisture loss. But common signs of a dampwood termite infestation that would require treatment include damaged wood and the presence of winged termite swarmers.

Dampwood termites do not typically nest in the soil. They will invade and live inside wood on the ground, especially if it is decaying. Wood that dampwood termites have damaged usually looks clean and smooth inside.

How to Get Rid of Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termite treatment is largely based on eliminating any moist wood and other sources of moisture. Additional ways to avoid an infestation include:

  • Divert water away from the home's foundation.
  • Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and AC units on the outside of the home.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
  • Properly ventilate crawl spaces, attics and basements

If you believe you have an infestation, contact a pest control professional who is familiar with dampwood termite treatment and control. You can find one with the helpful zip code search below.

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