What are the different types of termites?

Alabama homeowners deal with all kinds of nuisances, but termites can be a serious issue with long-lasting effects. According to Pestworld.org, there are more than 2,000 different termite species in the world, although only a few pose real threats to homeowners in the country. While a single termite may not seem threatening, a colony of them can destroy the structure of a home quickly.

Subterranean termites live aboveground in most secluded areas or in underground colonies. Each colony can hold up to two million termites. These insects protect themselves and get access to food through mud tubes. They are the most destructive termite species found in the country.

Formosan termites are devious, aggressive and voracious. They organize in large underground colonies and are extremely difficult to remove once they are infested in a structure. States that deal most with Formosan termites include California, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and Hawaii.

Dampwood termites are attracted to a high moisture content in wood and are typically larger than most species. While they may avoid structures because there is not a lot of moisture in the wood, they have been known to be a problem in Pacific coastal states and their neighbors and the southwest.

Drywood termites do not need any contact with soil and infest dry wood. They often establish colonies in wood wall supports and roof materials. They can even infest dead wood around a structure and have been found around water heaters and leaky pipes.

Conehead termites originally came to the United States in 2001 and are unlike other species because they travel over the ground rather than through underground tunneling. This allows them to travel faster and explains why they are likely to cause the most damage.

Signs of termite damage include soft wood, blistering or darkening of wood structures, mud tubes, bubbling or uneven paint and discarded wings near windows or doors that prove they have entered the home. Termite damage is a real problem and should be disclosed by anyone selling or renting a home.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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