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Dampwood Termites

Pacific Dampwood Termite ReproductiveThe Pacific dampwood termite (Zootermopsis angusticollis) is the largest of all native termites in North America. Workers and soldiers can be up to ¾ inch in size, the reddish-brown reproductives can be up to 1¼ inches in length. The reproductives typically swarm in the late summer-early fall months.

Unlike subterranean termites, dampwood termites must have a wet environment to live. Generally they are found nesting above ground in damp or decaying wood. In structures they can infest wood in proximity to roof and plumbing leaks or wood in contact with damp earth. They can also invade sound, dry wood as long as damp wood is adjacent to the infested area (generally within 10-12 feet). Without a high moisture content in their nesting area these species of termites cannot survive. However, with a high wood moisture content dampwood termites can substantially compound the ongoing structural damage occurring from wood destroying fungi or excessive moisture.

Dampwood termites leave behind a six-sided oval shaped fecal pellet in their galleries (subterranean termites do not).Dampwood Termite evidence

Additional academic information on these and other termites in the Pacific Northwest can be found by clicking here.

Corrective measures: The most common measure of eradication is elimination of the moisture source promoting the development of dampwood termites. Repairing plumbing and roof leaks and replacing wet, damaged wood with new, dry wood will generally spell doom for a dampwood colony. Treatment of the affected and adjacent areas with a disodium octoborate tetrahydrate product will provide added insurance against reinfestation.

Leupitz Pest Control can provide specific recommendations if you are experiencing such a problem.