List of Termite Genera (Genuses)

Termites are common in every part of the world. Scientists have classified the termites into 7 families. The families are divided into more than 280 genera. Within these genera, scientists have identified more than 2,600 different species of termites.

This classification system is very important for scientists and termite control professionals. They must identify termites correctly so they can track the termites’ movements. If a termite species appears in a new area, scientists can track its origin and help termite control professionals exterminate it effectively.

In the United States, scientists have identified at least 50 different termite species. While termites are most common in the warmer areas of the country, they can be found in every state except Alaska.

There are three basic types of termites in the United States. They are: subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites. Each type has members of several genera. There are several species of each type.

Subterranean termites live in nests in the ground. In nature, they eat decaying stumps and fallen trees. They often follow pipes into houses. They can also enter through cracks and expansion joints.

There are several native species of subterranean termites. The most common is the Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar). It is found throughout North America, from Ontario to Texas.

There are several subterranean termites that were imported from other parts of the world. Possibly the most destructive termite in the United States is the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus (Shiraki).

The Formosan subterranean termite was accidentally imported from Asia. It has spread across the Southeastern United States from South Carolina to Texas. It is also found in California and Hawaii.

Drywood termites attack wood that is above ground. They make their nests in the wood and never go into the soil. There are several species of drywood termites representing two different genera.

Drywood termites are found across the southern part of the United States. They can be found in the Mid–Atlantic States, in the Southeast, along the Gulf Coast, in the Desert Southwest, and along the Pacific Coast. They are easily transported into other areas in wood products that are infested.

Dampwood termites get their name because they live in wood that is very moist. There are several species of dampwood termites in the United States. They represent three families and four genera.

Dampwood termites are usually larger than the other types of termites in the United States. The swarmers can reach almost ¾” in length. The soldiers can be more than ½” long. Here are no workers in dampwood termite colonies. The immature termites do the work for the colony. Dampwood termites are found along the Pacific Coast, in the Southwestern States, and in Florida.

Experts encourage homeowners to get their home inspected regularly. Termite control professionals can recognize the signs of the termites that are common in the area. They can also suggest changes to the home and yard that might help prevent termites from getting easy access to the home.