Specific name: Neotermes
- Reproductives or Swarmers
The reproductive dampwood termite is larger than a drywood or subterranean termite and averages 1 inch in length. It has two large wings and its body is dark red to brown.
- Workers (Nymph)
Workers are creamy white to brownish.
Soldiers have large, reddish-brown heads with large mandibles or pinchers. They average 8.5mm-13 mm in length.
Habitat and Biology
Dampwood termites are found throughout Florida, the Caribbean and Hawaii. They usually only infest damp or decaying timber. They are commonly found in dead trees, logs and fence posts. Dampwood termites will only infest buildings where wood is rotten or damp from water leaks or condensation buildup. They require regular contact with water but do not live in the soil like subterranean termites. Dampwood termites are exclusively wood dwelling insects. They build galleries and nest inside the wood, similar to drywood termites.
As their name suggests, dampwood termites consume wood only with high moisture content. They feed on rotten logs, dead trees and damp timbers. Dampwood termites will hollow out smooth galleries inside of the wood, as if it were hand sanded. Dampwood termites will only infest in buildings where wood is rotten or damp from water leaks or condensation buildup.
Mature dampwood termites can establish colonies in the thousands. As with other termite species, reproductives take flight during the mating season. Swarms typically happen for several months each year between January and October. Once the male and female pair up, they break off their wings and create a nest in moist wood. The female will lay her first batch of eggs within two weeks of mating.
Dampwood Termite Control Treatment
- Reduce moisture
Reducing moist environments is the best solution for preventing dampwood termites. Pay attention to roof leaks, gutter drains and leaky faucets. Reduce moisture buildup and replace rotten or damp wood if possible.
- Moderate lights
Dampwood termites are attracted to light and unlike most termites, they are relatively good fliers. Keeping outside lights off in the evening hours will help reduce dampwood activity around the home.
- Liquid treatments
If moist wood is inaccessible, liquid treatments may be necessary. Tiny holes can be drilled followed by injections of liquid termiticide.
Signs of a Dampwood Termite Infestation
Dampwood termites will only consume moist or rotten wood. Damaged wood from dampwood termites is often smooth and hollow.
Mature colonies produce winged reproductive termites. Wings and bodies will form around windowsills and doorways. Swarms typically happen in Florida each year between January and October.
- Fecal pellets
Dampwood termites produce fecal pellets similar to drywood termites. Dampwood termite fecal pellets often lose their shape because of the high moisture content inside their colony.
Dampwood Termite Damage
Dampwood termites do not regularly infest residential homes but do cause extensive damage if they do. If given the chance, wood damage can be extensive after several years of an infestation.
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