A Closer Look: Termite Species in the Southeastern United States

March 5, 2024 | Posted In: Termites

If you’re living in the Southeastern United States, termites might be a word that sends a shiver down your spine, and for a good reason. These relentless creatures are not just any pest; they pose a significant risk to the integrity and safety of your home. Our mission at Bug Busters is to provide pest control and prevention, which includes educating homeowners about termites.

This blog shares some of the most common termite species you need to be aware of and why a professional termite evaluation is an important way to safeguard your home.

Eastern Subterranean Termites

Eastern subterranean termites are one of the most common termites in the US. Warmer temperatures and the moist soil conditions typically found in the southeast make for ideal living conditions. As you might suspect from the name, Eastern subterranean termites live in colonies underground. Tunnels are created from the colony to nearby sources of wood – which often includes homes, decks, or other structures.  

Formosan Termites

Often referred to as “super termites,” this species originated in East Asia, but have migrated to the southern part of the United States. Formosan termites are aggressive and known for the rapid pace of their destruction due to their large colony sizes.

Drywood Termites

Unlike their subterranean counterparts, drywood termites inhabit and consume dry wood that is typically found in attic framing and hardwood floors. Drywood termite infestations might be harder to detect since they don’t require contact with the soil.

Dampwood Termites

These termites typically don’t pose a threat to homes, as they prefer damp and decaying wood. However, if you have leaky pipes or other moisture issues in your home, dampwood termites could certainly come knocking.

No matter the species, all termites have the potential to cause extensive and costly damage to your home if left unchecked. Often, their presence goes unnoticed until significant damage has occurred. That’s where regular inspections and early detection come into play.

At Bug Busters USA, we have seen firsthand the destruction termites can cause. More importantly, we know how to identify risk factors for an infestation, as well as early signs of activity. Taking a proactive approach to termite prevention is a proven strategy that will help guard your largest investment—your home.

Keep an eye open for these signs of termite activity

  1. Wood Damage

Wood damage is usually found below and behind surfaces like walls, floors, and more. Termites tend to eat wood from the inside out, leaving a thin veneer of timber or paint. If you tap on an area that has termite damage, it will sound hollow or papery due to parts (or all) of the wood having been eaten away.

  1. Discarded Wings

After termites swarm (fly off to create new colonies), they shed their wings. You may find small piles of wings in spider webs and on surfaces around your house’s foundation, like window sills.

  1. Mud Tubes

Subterranean termites, which live in the soil, construct mud tubes to provide moisture while they travel between their colony and food source. Mud tubes are often found near the home’s foundation.

  1. Frass – Termite Droppings

Drywood termites don’t use mud tubes. Instead, they expel their droppings out of small holes near the entrances to their nest. This results in small black marks and a dark powdery substance around the area they are infesting.

  1. Paint Irregularities

Termite activity can cause paint on wood surfaces to bubble or peel. While this can also happen due to water damage, it’s also a common sign of termites.

Regular Termite Inspections

Are you aware of the warning signs of termite activity? Would you know what to do if you found them in your home? Scheduling a termite inspection can provide you with peace of mind and plan to prevent termites from causing damage to your home. To schedule an inspection, click here.