All About Termites

Did you know that there are up to 2000 different species of termite found on planet Earth? We will not look at all of them today but with the help from Scott’s Turf and Pest Services, a pest control company in Durham, NC; we are going to look at the most common types of termites that pose a threat to your home.

Subterranean Termites

As the name would lead you to believe, this termite species lives underground and are typically found in every state in the US except Alaska. They build colonies underground that often contain over 2 million members. In order to survive though they need to live in damp conditions, so they will build mud tunnels that are called “mud tubes” to stay damp and travel from place to place. Through these tube tunnels they protect themselves from open air and find accessible food sources. 

They typically get food from fence posts, trees, and timbers in houses. They are known for their rapid wood-eating abilities, which make them the most destructive kinds of termites. One sign of an infestation is the appearance of holes on damaged wood that looks like a honeycomb.

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are most commonly found in Northern California, Washington, Northern Nevada, and Montana. They can survive without soil so they prefer areas with woodpiles, decaying wood, and wood with an adequate amount of moisture. Hence the name “dampwood,” due to the fact that they like wood with high moisture content. 

They are fairly larger than other termites and often have heads of a reddish-brown color.

Drywood Termites

These termites are found in most of Florida, parts of California, Texas, Mexico and Alabama. They are prone to attacking furniture, flooring, wood structures, and frames, which are also their main sources of nutrients. Unlike many other types of termites, they don’t require as much moisture from the soil for their survival. They also have large mouthparts with a large set of wings.

Conehead Termites


These termites are actually native to the Caribbean and were first found in the US around 2001, but were then eradicated in the 2003. They were initially known as “tree termites,” but were later renamed. 

The Conehead termites are actually found above the ground where they rummage for food on the ground as ants do. They are an unusually aggressive termite that cause mass destruction in very short periods of time. 

The conehead termites prefer to eat anything that has cellulose in it. Some of their common food sources include furniture, paper products, structural timber, trees, roots, shrubs, and fence posts.

Desert Termites

This species of termites if commonly found in Arizona, West Texas, and New Mexico regions. 

Desert termites have a tendency to dry out and lose moisture. So, one of their biggest survival tactics includes building a moisture-retentive sheet or tube that is made out of the carton. Carton is essentially a mixture including feces and moist soil that is bonded together with the help of the termite’s saliva. 

They like to feed on decomposed, living or dead plant material and prefer to live within dead or living grasses. Common infestation signs include swarming soldier termites and layers of their protective sheets or tubes within the soil.

Formosan Termites

These termites originated from China and are commonly found in southern US regions such as Georgia, Hawaii, Texas, Mississippi, California, and Tennessee. They are popularly known as the most devious, aggressive, and voracious of termite species which makes them extremely difficult to control once they form a colony or infest a structure. 

They build huge underground colonies that include intricate mud nests which are well-contained within a walled structure. Because of the large colony sizes, they can consume a substantial amount of wood compared to other termite colonies.

Have a termite problem? Contact Scott’s Turf and Pest Services for help!

Has your home been invaded by termites? At Scott’s Turf & Pest Control Services our technicians are trained in the most effective termite control and removal methods to help you regain control of your home.

Get a Free Estimate

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to the privacy policy.