The most common type of termite is the Eastern Subterranean termite, Reticulitermes. But, in recent years the Formosan termite and various dry wood termite species have become a frequent problem in warmer areas of the U.S.
Subterranean termite workers are eyeless, wingless and can be cream colored. The adults are black with silvery wings that are about as long as their bodies. Formosan termite adults are black and the workers are cream colored, just like the Subterranean termites.
Subterranean termites can be found in most states but are more frequent in southern locations. Drywood termites are only found in tropical areas of the U.S. because they can’t survive freezing temperatures.
Subterranean termites nest in the soil. They require a very high humidity and will build mud tubes to cross obstacles. Drywood termites do not live in the soil. They have the ability to maintain moisture within their bodies to get moisture from very dry wood.
The best way to prevent subterranean termites is to keep wooden items away from soil or to use treated wood. Do not store firewood, lumber or other wooden items on the ground next to buildings. To prevent drywood termites, keep building structures well painted and caulked. Also be sure to look for small holes in items before bringing them inside the home.
Termites do not bite people. The only harm they cause is to wooden structures.