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Eastern Subterranean Termites

eastern subterranean termites

  • Classification of service:  Services under Termite Control Services
  • Eastern subterranean termites are a problem that everyone in Texas will face.  It will be only a matter of time before you as a customer will have to deal with this problem.
  • Subterranean termites do just as their name implies; they live and attack from the soil.
  • Keeping a watchful eye on your property in the months of March, April and May.  These months are what we at All Pest Solutions call “Termite Swam Season”.  Look for a swarm on the most humid days, such as after a rain.

Worker Subterranean Termites

worker subterranean termites

  • Worker termites are called “nymphs” and are up to 3/8 inches long.  They have no wings and are white to grayish in color with brown heads.
  • Worker termites are seldom seen in visible light.  Due to their light color worker termites refrain from contact with sunlight.  This is why they build tunnels and live in the soil.
  • The worker termites are the damage causing part of the termite family.  Each worker termite acts on excavator and removes minute particles of wood and returns back to the colony for group feeding.

Soldier Subterranean Termites

  • Solider termites are there to provide protection against enemy invaders such as ants.
  • Generally soldier termites are slightly larger than worker termites.  The biggest distinctive trait of a soldier is their large rectangle shaped head, along with larger mandibles.
  •  Due to their large mandibles, soldier termites cannot feed themselves but rely on workers to feed them.

Reproductive "Swarmer" Subterranean Termites

swarmer subterranean termite

  • The reproductive termite is essentially the queens of future colonies.  All it takes is for two swarmers to pair together for a new colony to develop in just three years time.
  • The reproductives are different from the other family members with the ability to fly as well as being solid black.
  • The majority of these will not survive to the next stage in life but all it takes is for two to pair.  Generally when these swarm they head toward a light source within the house.
  • This caste member cannot do damage to a structure nor can they re-infest your home.

Formosan Termites

formosan termite

  • Classification of service:  Services under Termite Control Services
  • Formosan termites are actually classified as a subterranean termite but are more prominent in the Southeastern states.
  • Unlike the standard subterranean termites, Formosans can do 10 times more damage, hypothetically, because Formosan termites can house up to 10 million members.
  • Formosan termites will be located in the earth just like subterranean but will be further in the soil, up to 30 feet deep.
  • Unlike Eastern subs if the humidity/moisture is high enough Formosans can build a carton/nest above ground and live without returning to the soil for moisture.

Worker Formosan Termites

worker formosan termite

  • A worker Formosan is virtually identical to an Eastern subterranean.
  • The biggest difference with Formosan workers is their sheer numbers.
  • Due to their close relationship to the Eastern subterranean family, an accurate identification cannot be made with a worker Formosan.

Soldier Formosan Termites

  • Soldier Formosan termites still provide protection against incoming enemies just like the subterranean soldiers do.
  • There is a difference in Formosan termites.  They are actually smaller than the worker Formosans and will have a tear drop shaped head instead of a rectangle size head.
  • Due to the close resemblance to subterraneans, a soldier Formosan may be required for identification when a swarmer cannot be used as opposed to a worker.

Reproductive "Swarmer" Formosan Termites

swarmer formosan termite

  • Reproductive Formosan swarmers are the best way to identify a Formosan termite.
  • Formosan swarmers are a light to dark brown, which is different to the subterranean black swarmer.  Formosan swarmers are almost twice the size of a subterranean.
  • Formosan swarmers are hard to find because unlike subterranean that swarm during the day, Formosans swarm at night and can be found around a street lamp.

Drywood Termites

drywood termites

  • Classification of service:  Call for details
  • Drywood termites are a yellowish almost clear color and about 7/16 of an inch long.
  • Drywood termites are much different than the subterranean because they do not have to be in contact with the soil for moisture.
  • Drywood termites can pull the moisture out of the air within the home.  All they need to survive Is 15% moisture, which is the average moisture within the home.
  • Drywoods are primarily located along the coast.  The biggest reason why drywoods migrate north is through transportation of wood materials which have drywood in them (i.e. furniture).
  • Drywoods are larger that subterranean termites but have fewer members.


Images Property of:

Field Guide to Texas Insects,
Drees, B.M. and John Jackman,
Copyright 1999
Gulf Publishing Company,
Houston, Texas