Learn How To Recognise The Different Types Of Termites

April 21, 2020

Termites are small, wood-eating pests. Although they are small, they are greatly feared because they can cause massive damages to beloved wooden furniture and items.

Looking much like ants, termites also live in colonies. However, did you know that there are many different kinds of termites? Depending on where they live and what they eat, termites can have very different behaviours.

Knowing the different termite species is useful if you think your home is at risk of having termites. This way, you can more easily identify them and provide information to your pest control team when they come down to help you eradicate them. So, here is an overview of some of the termite types:

Subterranean termites 

Subterranean means ‘below the earth’, which is an apt name for this group of termites. They live mostly underground, and find their way to wood and other cellulose-containing food sources by building mud tunnels. If you see these mud tubes leading from the ground (or another soil source, like a flower pot) into your home, it is a huge warning sign that these pesky creatures have made their way into your abode. Their saw-toothed jaws make them one of the most destructive termites around, so any signs of them should be checked out by a pest company as early as possible.

Dampwood termites  

As their name suggests, dampwood termites love moist and humid areas. In the wild, they feed on fallen wood and tree stumps – wood sources near the ground. However, in homes, they can feed on wooden support beams or furniture, often attacking the damp and hidden areas. Rather than building mud tunnels, dampwood termites cover up their entry points with their own faeces to avoid detection. When these faecal pellets dry up, you may find them lining the ground near their feeding sites.

Drywood termites

Drywood termites love warmer climates and can survive on the moisture from the humidity in the air. Thus, instead of living underground, they make hollowed-out wooden structures their home. Eating at wooden objects from the inside out, they can significantly threaten the integrity of wooden furniture and building structures if their activity goes unaddressed. One sign of an infestation is by identifying the small faecal pellets that lie around near feeding sites, like at the skirting of the floor or window sills. Each pellet is smaller than a grain of rice, and is hard and dry.

Now that you know more about these termites, you can be better equipped to look out for the signs of infestation in your home.

Here are some signs that termites have invaded your property:

  • Crackling, rattling sound (of termites chewing) coming from wooden furniture or structures
  • Holes appearing in wooden objects
  • Presence of mud tubes, especially if leading to/from a soil source
  • Your wooden furniture/structures sound hollow when tapped on
  • Traces of wings, faecal pellets near entry points or wooden items

If you detect any of these signs, it may mean you have a termite infestation in your home. Contact your local pest control company to conduct termite control measures that are suitable for the type of termites and your home.