Keys to Termite Identification

This article explains some useful and basic information, and explains how to identify different termite species. It covers the three main types of termites that cause damage in the U.S: subterranean, formosan, and drywood termites.

The purpose of termite identification

  • Helps to choose the right treatment method
  • Depends on the location and the signs of infestation

Subterranean termites

  • Account for 90% of termite damage in the U.S
  • Live in the ground and create mud tubes
  • Easy to treat with a pesticide barrier

Formosan termites

  • A type of subterranean termite that can colonize in walls
  • They build cartons that provide moisture and shelter
  • Very destructive and fast eaters

Drywood termites

  • Do not live in the ground or create mud tubes
  • Fly to the house and enter through cracks and crevices
  • Create galleries and kick out holes in the wood

How to identify termite species

  • Look for mud tubes, frass, and kick out holes
  • Obtain a specimen of a soldier termite and compare its head shape
  • Look for swarmers and compare their body and wing color

How to get professional help

  • Call a pest controller for a free inspection
  • Get several estimates before choosing a termite damage repair company
  • Be careful of misidentification and false claims
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