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Different Types of Termites
Termites are a group of social insects that feed on dead plant material, including wood, leaf litter, and decaying roots. There are several different types of termites, but they are all categorized into three major types - subterranean, dry wood, and Formosan.
Dry Wood Termites
Out of the three different types of termites, dry wood termites are the most ecologically and behaviorally distinct. Unlike subterranean and Formosan termites, dry wood termites live above ground, on the wood structure itself.
Colonies of dry wood termites can be found living in trunks of trees, stumps, and some times buildings. In terms of the extent of damage they can cause, dry wood termites are just like the different types of termites. But because they live aboveground, which makes them more discernable than the other different types of termites, the damage they cause is often noticeable before it becomes too expansive to repair.
You usually know if your home has been infested by dry wood termites by the presence of dry, smooth and powdery-looking pellets distributed around a wooden structure of your home. These are the fecal pellets or frass of dry wood termites, which they kick out of the wood they are feeding on.
Another type of termites is subterranean. Out of all the different types of termites, the subterranean species are said to be the most destructive. Research suggests that this is because subterranean termites, as their name implies, live underground and as such, they are not easily observed by human eyes. It is only when subterranean termites cause such a great damage that one realizes that the structure has been infested. But by then, it is usually too late for repairs.
Moreover, out of all the different types of termites, subterranean termites consume a huge amount of wood. Scientists say that an average worker termite can consume up to 15 pounds of wood within a week.
Subterranean termites get into the home by tunneling underground. Their colonies are often found underground but their worker termites would usually forage around the surrounding areas, in search for a suitable food source.
Subterranean termites could often be found around wooden foundations of houses. They may also infest wood furniture, but not so much as dry wood termites, which often find furniture as a favorite food source.
Out of all the different types of termites, the Formasan termite is the only one that is not native to the United States. This species in fact originated from East Asia and were only carried over when timber was shipped back to the US after World War II. Some of the timber were already infested, and the termites started reproducing until they grew to be so many, the government had to take on an active role of ridding many homes of this pest.
The Formosan termites act much like the subterranean termites in that they also live underground.