There most certainly are different types of termites. Though there are 45 distinct species of termites that live in the USA, you can basically break down the types into 3 groups. There are damp wood termites, dry wood termites and subterranean termites. Most of the household termite damage we associate with termites is done by the subterranean termites, but understanding a bit about all the groups can be very helpful in dealing with pest problems effectively.
Even within these groups, there can be some regional varieties. Best to talk to a local professional to get the exact details. So if you’re living in Texas, for example, you’ll want to see what a Lubbock pest control specialist has to say.
Since these are the types of termites that do the most damage, it’s seems only sensible to start here. As the name suggests, these termites live underground and are famous for their huge nest structures. The main signs that you have subterranean termites are the mud tubes they build along the sides of your house. They need to remain in contact with the soil, so they build tunnels of mud so they can travel over the surface of your foundation. Once they reach the top of the cement, they have easy access to the wood structure of your house. When you see these tubes, it’s a sure thing you have subterranean termites.
Since they actually live in their nests outside the house, they can be the easiest to deal with by creating barriers to keep them out. Destruction of their nests and outside chemical treatments are very effective.
Damp wood Termites
These insects are probably not going to bother you or your home, because they only survive in areas with extremely damp wood. Unless you have a serious moisture problem, the typical house is just too dry to attract damp wood termites. Unlike the previous group, they don’t nest in soil and will actually create nests within your home, should the conditions be right for them.
The easiest way to deal with this type of termite is to fix any moisture issues (possibly leaking pipes, gutters or really damp basements). Once you dry things out, the termites will not be able to survive.
Dry wood Termites
Lastly, we have dry wood termites. Unlike the damp wood variety, these ones will happily live in the wood structure of your house. They create much smaller colonies than the subterranean ones, meaning fewer insects to worry about if they do start to infest your house. They are also harder to detect, and can go unnoticed until you see wood damage. Swarms of flying termites can be a sign but little flying insects can all look the same to the average homeowner.
Dry wood termites can be the toughest ones to get rid of because they aren’t so sensitive to moisture as the other types of termites. An exterminator will need to use various pesticides that are injected into the wood, or possibly a fumigation or fogging process instead.
One common factor is that all termites will eat the wood in your home, causing damage. Regardless if which specific type, it’s something you need to take care of immediately.