Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites:

Scientific Term: ‘Zootermopsis’

Dampwood termites are far less common than subterranean or drywood termites in the southwestern states, however they still may infest wooden structures under certain condition. They need much more moisture to survive, specifically infesting damp rotting or decaying wood. Dampwood Alates create nests just like drywood alates within the decaying wood. Homeowners should be aware of conducive areas that may attract these types of termites. Instances where proper drainage is not present, leaks in roofing or sliding, leaking pipes, etc should all be addressed in order to avoid infestation.

Dampwood termites are generally larger than subterranean and drywood termites. The alates (swarmers/ reproductive) are slightly smaller than an inch and the workers are about 3/4″. The dampwood species have a different caste system, specifically lacking their workers. In their colony the immature termites do the work and are the main cause of damage.

Signs/ wood damage:

Unlike subterranean termites, dampwood termites are more like drywood in that they do not require soil contact and do not build mud tubes. Fecal pellets also resemble that of drywood, but may not be detectable since the pellets may adhere to the wet state the infested food.

The damage caused is typically seen against the grain and like drywood, the termite galleries are smooth and have an almost sanded like appearance.