Dampwood Termite

Actual Size: 3/4 to 1″

Characteristics: Much larger type of termite. Soldiers and swarmers range from a light brown color to a reddish-brown.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Alates/swarmers have wings.

Habitat: Requires large amounts of moisture to survive. Often targets damp, weakened, or decaying wood.


  • Only lives in wood with high moisture content.
  • Infestations could be a sign of underlying plumbing or drainage issues.
  • Outdoors, often lives in felled timber or tree stumps.


Dampwood Termites in your area

Dampwood termites are a large species that survive on wet wood, hence their name. Unlike other termites that build mud tubes to use for nesting and travel, dampwood termites simply live within the wood they feast on. To preserve as much moisture as possible, these termites will even deposit their feces over entry holes in the wood. Because dampwood termites require so much moisture to survive, they are often found in humid and tropical climates. Though these pests are commonly mistaken for subterranean termites, dampwood termites do not forage in soil. Within each colony are three primary casts, which are reproductives (alates), soldiers, and false workers (pseudergates).

Dampwood Termite Habitat

True to their name, dampwood termites only infest timber with a high moisture content. Usually, this wood is also damaged or in the stages of decay. Outdoors, these termites are often found in tree stumps, felled logs, and similar areas. If dampwood termites make it indoors, though, they can cause considerable damage by hollowing out support beams and other important structures. An infestation of dampwood termites could also indicate an underlying moisture problem in your home or building, largely because these termites only survive where there is plenty of water. Leaking pipes, poor drainage, or overflowing gutters can all cause excessive moisture throughout your home, which can attract these pests.

Dampwood Termite Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Though dampwood termites are not aggressive and are not known to bite humans, they can still be a major problem if they make it into your home. These pests feed on wood, which means they can hollow out wooden beams throughout your home, leading to weakened structural integrity and safety issues. Structural issues can be difficult and costly to fix, which could make dampwood termites a very expensive pest if they aren’t eradicated quickly. If you notice dampwood termites in or near your home, a professional termite exterminator can help you get rid of these pests as fast as possible.