The Florida Damp-Wood Termite

Damp-Wood Termite

The Florida Damp-Wood Termite. The Flordia Damp-wood is the common name for a species of termite; Neotermes castaneus, that thrives in wet, swampy conditions.

The species lives in southern Florida, especially in and around the everglades. Termites are divided into distinct categories: workers (95%), soldiers (5%) and breeders (less than 1%).

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The Florida Damp-Wood Termite

 Damp-Wood Termite
Humid wood termite

A month before swarming season, breeders will begin to sprout their wings. Males and females both have four separate wings, all equal in size. The enlarged medians on their wings distinguish the Florida Damp-wood termite from the other species in the region.

Soldiers, serve to protect the rest of the colony of wet wood termites from looter ants, are the largest workers.

They can be distinguished from other species because of their enlarged dorsal body plate (pronotum), which is as wide as the insect’s head, and significantly longer. They also have two additional teeth on their left mandible.

Swarming season for the Florida damp-wood termite lasts several months, and the breeders (alates) generally fly at dusk and dawn. Like many other insects, attracted by light, and so often attracted to the houses because of it.

Moist wood villages are discovered by homeowners, however, should not be afraid unless they see several. Most likely, the alate crept in through an open window, but it could also be a sign of a very large and dangerous infestation.

Humid wood termites are moisture dependent than other species therefore they tend to infiltrate homes after rain or flood.

Removing the moisture source will cause the colony to relocate on their own, without the need to hire an exterminator. The damp-wood termite is a more serious threat to trees, though they still remain, as termites go, a fairly mild pest. Their digging can weaken tree limbs–something home owners should be aware of if they have children that climb trees, or if they have tree limbs hanging over their building.

However, as the damp-wood termite only eats the tree’s dead matter, this does not effect the tree in a negative fashion, aside from the aforementioned problem with structural integrity.

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