Porotermitinae

The Porotermitinae are dampwood termites. They belong to the family Termopsidae. There are two species of these termites that have been added to the list of invasive pests of the United States.

One of these is the Australian dampwood termite, Porotermes adamsoni (Froggatt). This termite is common in eastern Australia. It has also been found in New Zealand.

The other termite that was added to the list of invasive pests is a dampwood termite that is native to South America. This is Porotermes quadricolis (Rambur). It is found in Chile, Uruguay, and Peru.

Dampwood termites make their nest in wood that is very moist. They often attack decaying stumps or logs that are on the ground. They can easily be transported from place to place in infested articles. Railroad ties and landscape timbers are often the means of transporting these pests.

Dampwood termites can attack structures. They readily move from damp wood into sound wood if there is a source of moisture. They will attack homes with crawl spaces, especially if the crawl space has insufficient clearance or poor ventilation. They will also attack homes that are heavily shaded or covered with ivy and other plants.

Dampwood termites readily attack wood that is touching the ground. They can enter wood trim on basement windows or doors. Garage doors are also common targets. These termites have been found in doghouses and sheds that were built directly on the ground. They also attack trellises, plant stakes, and landscape timbers.

Many dampwood termites are large termites. They are often larger than the common subterranean termites. Dampwood termites live in small colonies. They make their nest inside of the wood that they are attacking.

Unlike subterranean termites, dampwood termites can eat wood across the grain. Their galleries do not follow the grain of the wood. They do not fill their galleries with soil. Instead, they often use their fecal pellets to fill the galleries. Some scientists think that this is the way the termites maintain the humidity in their environment.

Dampwood termites that are native to the United States are found along the Pacific Coast, in the Desert Southwest, and in Florida. If these invasive species of dampwood termites are brought into the United States, they could arrive at almost any seaport.

Experts recommend that homeowners inspect their home carefully for conditions that termites might find attractive. Firewood should be moved away from the home. Gutters and downspouts should be checked t be sure they are clean and that they drain away from the foundation.

Many homeowners have their home inspected regularly. Termite control professionals can recognize the signs of termite activity. If treatment is needed, they can proscribe the most effective method.