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Common Termite Species in Texas 

Mar 2, 2020 | Uncategorized

Texas is home to numerous household pests, but termites are one of the most costly. They live deep within the recesses of your home and continually chew away at the timber. Without proper treatments, termites can destroy the structure of your home and cost massive amounts of money. We will take a closer look at the four main types of termites that you should be aware of in Texas.

 

Eastern Subterranean Termites

One of the most common species of termites in the entire United States is the eastern subterranean termite. They are fairly small in size, ranging from ¼-½ inch in length. The reproductives (alates) that can be seen swarming outside of the main nest are brown to black in color with brownish-gray wings. Colonies of eastern subterranean termites can grow to include millions of members. They travel in mud tubes so that they are protected from predators, sunburn, and dehydration. Mud tubes are a major sign of termites and can often be seen on exterior walls where the termites venture from the ground to their food source.

 

Eastern Subterranean Termite

Eastern Subterranean Termite By PumpkinSky [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

 

Formosan Subterranean Termites

Formosan termites are a kind of subterranean termite that are particularly destructive and aggressive. They are native to China, but have spread to the United States. Like other subterranean termites, they live in large nests underground, but infestations can also occur in living trees like oak, cypress, pine, and maple. One nest of formosan termites can cause major structural damage to homes, and can even cause power failures because they like to chew through electrical cables. Identifying features of formosan termites include: layered wood damage where the termites eat the softer layers of wood, moist soil packed into areas between the layers, and a white sticky substance emitted from worker termites. Formosan termites are normally only present along the coastal regions of Texas where the temperature is warmer year-round.

 

Formosan termites

Formosan termites http://www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/10865

 

Western Drywood Termites

Drywood termites live in much smaller colonies than subterranean. A colony may grow to about 2,000 termites, but home damage can still occur, especially if there are multiple colonies in the area. Drywood termites do not live underground, so they do not build mud shelter tubes. Instead they tend to live in and feast on low moisture wood found in homes, trees, and other structures. Alates tend to be about ½ an inch long with a brown body and smoky black wings. 

 

Western drywood termite

Western drywood termite by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

 

Desert Dampwood Termites

These termites live in arid and semi-arid environments, but tend to infest wood that is damp and decaying, especially at or below ground level. Excess moisture caused by leaky pipes, broken gutters, poor landscaping, etc. will attract dampwood termites to your property. They have been known to girdle citrus trees and kill bushes, grapevines, and more. They do not create mud tubes, but colonies will extend from the wood into the soil. Desert dampwood termites are larger than most other species, growing up to an inch long, with dark brown bodies. 

 

dampwood termite

A species of dampwood termite by Judy Gallagher [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

 

Texas Termite Control

Termites can be a big problem in Texas, but regular inspections by trained professionals can help ensure that your home does not fall victim to them. If you need termite control in Anna, Texas and surrounding areas, EcoArmor Pest Defense is your go-to source for the best service. We offer a free inspection, advanced baiting systems, and termiticide treatments. Contact us today for more information.

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