|These are several common species of subterranean termites in the United States. Which one you're most likely to encounter depends largely on where you live. Here are the two most common species of termites and where they're usually found.
Southern half of continental U.S. and Hawaii; originally from mainland China.
- More vigorous, aggressive and successful than other termites.
- Maintain very large colonies (often in the millions) and can severely damage a structure in as little as three months.
- Most damaging during the least visible phase of their life cycle.
- Build hard nests called "cartons" within walls, which allow the thousands of termites inside to live indefinitely without soil contact.
- Can also attack and destroy healthy trees, and non-wood materials like plaster, plastic, asphalt, and even thin sheets of metal.
Most common termite in North America: throughout Eastern U.S. and as far west as Montana.
- Mature colony can contain from 20,000 to 5 million workers, averaging around 300,000. Queen will add 5,000 to 10,000 eggs annually.
- Single structure can often contain multiple colonies.
- Telltale signs include dirt-colored mud tubes and translucent wings shed by kings and queens.
- Average colony can consume 5 grams of wood per day
- Can enter buildings through cracks less than 3/16" wide.
- Secondary colonies can exist above ground.
- Feed on cellulose materials including wood, paper, and cotton; occasionally even roots of shrubs and trees.
KING AND QUEEN: At least one king and queen are at the center of every termite colony. The queen's sole purpose is to reproduce. Some live for as long as 30 years.
EGGS: Queens can lay thousands of eggs every year. Eggs hatch into nymphs.
NYMPHS: While in the nymph state, termites diverge into different castes: workers, soldiers, reproductives, and supplementary reproductives.
WORKERS: Workers are blind, wingless termites that maintain the colony, build and repair the nest and tubes, forage for food, and care for the other termites. They are the most numerous caste and the most likely to be found in infested wood.
SOLDIERS: Soldiers are sterile, wingless, and blind. Their sole function is to defend the colony.