Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites, like their name suggests, live in wood saturated with moisture. This is not a preference–it’s a requirement! These termites tunnel and eat through wood that has a high water content, and need to be close to a source of water in order to survive. Most commonly, they’re found in rotting tree trunks. They will also develop a colony in a human structure if the wood is subject to wet conditions or leaks.


Pest Description

Dampwood Termite Habits

They are able to live completely within the wood they are feasting on, unlike subterranean termites, which burrow into dirt to scavenge other food sources.

Beyond rotting or decaying wood, dampwood termites will also infest structures with fungus or high moisture levels from plumbing leaks, ventilation issues, roof leaks, or drainage complications. Dampwood termites, once they establish a colony, can weaken the structure by hollowing out beams, potentially leading to extensive damage. They will not build their tunnels very far beyond damp wood.

Prevention of Dampwood Termites

Preventing dampwood termites is relatively easy. All rotting wood or water leaks should be resolve, and careful inspections should take place regularly to prevent any wood from rotting. This especially applies to roof leaks or wood-to-soil contact. If wood is allowed to rot next to soil, dampwood termites will likely take over.

When bringing in firewood, potted trees, or wooden furniture, take caution and inspect thoroughly. Because these termites can survive completely on wood alone, they can remain in damp wood until their damage is complete.

Eliminating Dampwood Termites

Removing damp wood and repairing leaks is the first step toward eliminating the termites. If you’re concerned that you may have a dampwood termite infestation, you need to call a professional termite exterminator. If you don’t have dampwood termites yet, keep regularly inspecting your property. For total piece of mind, you might want to consider a pest control maintenance program.