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Dampwood Termite Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from dampwood termites by learning techniques for identification and control.

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Zootermopsis spp.
Neotermes spp.
Large head with mandibles
Several species


How do I get rid of dampwood termites?

What Orkin Does

Continuous Treatment Plans: With Orkin, you receive the most dependable termite control from an industry leader. Our Continuous Protection Plans use scientifically proven treatments designed for your home’s construction type, and every one of those treatments is backed by a money-back guarantee. We’ve been around for more than 100 years, so you can be confident we’ll be here when you need us.

Customized Treatments: Based on the layout of your home and the degree of termite infestation, Orkin will create a termite treatment plan tailored for your home.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Dampwood Termites


Size: Dampwood termites are much larger then the subterranean termites that are common across the country. Note: there are several species of dampwood termites in the United States.

  • Swarmers: The swarmers (winged termites) can be 25 mm long, including their wings.

  • Soldiers: The soldiers can be as large as 20 mm.

  • Immature: The immature termites can be as much as 20 mm long. The immature termites do the work in the colony.

Body: They have a large head with mandibles (pincers) on the front.


Dampwood termites get their name from the damp, sometimes decaying, wood that they use to locate their colonies. Dampwood termites do not typically nest in the soil. They will invade wood that is on the ground, especially if it is decaying.


Dampwood termites are common along the Pacific coast. They are considered an economic pest. There are also dampwood termites in the Southwest desert and in southern Florida.

Reproduction & Life Cycle

A pair of winged swarmers starts a colony of dampwood termites. They find a suitable piece of wood and make a chamber in it. They produce a few eggs the first year. Colonies are usually small, but in ideal conditions dampwood termite colonies can become large. There are no dampwood termite workers.

Prevention Tips

Remove Moisture

Because moisture is critical to these termites, solving moisture problems is an important part of dampwood termite control. Plumbing problems, leaks in roof or siding, wood that is touching the ground and even rainwater drainage are all examples of situations that may need to be addressed.

Replace Damaged Wood

After the moisture conditions have been corrected, the damaged wood can be replaced. It is sometimes necessary to use treated wood.

Termiticide treatment in the wood is sometimes necessary. Because these treatments require special tools and equipment, it is advisable to call a termite control professional.

Types of Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are much larger then the subterranean termites that are common across the country.

Desert Dampwood Termites

Florida Dampwood Termites

Nevada Dampwood Termites

Pacific Dampwood Termites

Termite Control

How do you know if you have termites?

Learn the signs to look for to determine if you might have a termite infestation.

Why should you be worried?

Termites cost Americans more than $5 billion in damage each year and most insurance plans don’t cover the damage.

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