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Western Subterranean Termites

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Western Subterranean Termites 

There are around 45 different kinds of termites that live in the United States out of around 2,000 known species around the world. The Western subterranean termite is the most destructive and widespread species in the U.S.

Western subterranean termites are much like other termites in appearance. Worker termites are a creamy-white color with no eyes or wings. Winged reproductive alates are dark brown to brown-black and have brownish-gray wings. The front wings are larger than the back wing and are characterized by two dark, hardened veins in front.  

Western Subterranean Termite Behavior

Like all other subterranean termites, Western subterranean termites live underground. Unlike dampwood termites, Western subterranean termites do not like to live where there is a lot of moisture, but they like to live near it. For this reason, they live below the frost line, but above the water table. Secondary colonies of Western subterranean termites may live above ground if there is moisture like what you might find near a leaky pipe. Termite workers can get dehydrated easily and must be in an environment with plentiful moisture at all times to prevent dying of dehydration.

Like all other termites, Western subterranean termites are social insects that live in colonies that have three distinct castes made up of worker termites, soldiers and reproductives. Also like all other termites, Western subterranean termites eat wood, though unlike some of their other termite counterparts, they prefer to eat soft wood. If you find damage in the wood around your property you will know it is likely from subterranean termites if the holes in the wood resemble a honeycomb. You might find Western subterranean termites in fallen trees, stumps or other dead wood that is in contact with soil. 

Western Subterranean Termites and Winter

Unlike some other termite species, Western subterranean termites are active during the winter and also swarm at this time. This means that winter is their reproductive time of year, unlike other termites for whom spring is the reproductive time of year. 

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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