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Termites

Termites are wood eaters and they can cause significant damage to homes and other wooden structures. There are three different types of termites: drywood, subterranean, and damp wood. Because of their different habitats and behaviors, specific control measures are used for each type of termite.

Control tips:

  • Make sure you have properly identified the termites. Many ants can be easily confused with termites because they look very similar and tend to swarm at the same time. Check out the resources below with pictures and descriptions.
  • Successful termite control often requires specific knowledge of termite behavior and treatment techniques. Do-it-yourself termite treatments may not be as effective as professional treatments. Some termiticides can only be used by trained and licensed professionals.
  • Take your time and do your homework when selecting a termite control company. Termite treatments can be costly and time consuming. Getting estimates, inspections, treatment and warranty information from multiple companies can help you make an informed choice between companies, pesticides and methods.
  • Prevent termites from infesting your home by removing wood stored under or next to your house. It can act as a bridge for termites to go from the soil to your house.

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated January 27, 2017

Termites

  • Identify the termite species before choosing a treatment strategy. Control techniques are different for dry wood, damp wood, and subterranean termites.
  • If you find nests, remove the damaged wood and eliminate excess moisture.
  • Destroy and remove mud tubes you can find. They are termite highways from their nests in the soil to their food in your home.
  • It is hard to find and remove termite nests. Consider hiring a professional.
  • If you choose to use a pesticide, read the label before you buy. The USDA has a long-term study on termiticide effectiveness. You can compare active ingredients here. Try a lower toxicity product first.

Prevention tips:

  • Keep mulch several inches below wooden parts of the home.
  • Remove woodpiles, dead trees, stumps, and roots near the home.
  • Store firewood several feet away from buildings and off of the ground.
  • Remove wood and paper stored under your home, in the basement or crawlspace.
  • Reduce moisture near the foundation of buildings. Divert rainwater away from the home. Repair any leaking pipes, faucets, or air conditioners.
  • Keep crawl spaces dry and well ventilated.
  • Repair foundation cracks as quickly as possible.

If you have a pesticide product in mind, have your label handy and click here for information about that product.

County Extension Offices

Through its county agents, the Cooperative Extension Service gives individuals access to the resources at land-grant universities across the nation. These universities are centers for research in many subjects, including entomology (the study of insects) and agriculture. Each county within the United States has an Extension office, which is staffed with agents who work closely with university-based Extension specialists to deliver answers to your questions about gardening, agriculture, and pest control. You can find the phone number for your local county extension office in the local government section (often marked with blue pages) of your telephone directory or by clicking on the map below.

Alaska Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Hawaii Arizona Colorado New Mexico Texas Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Puerto Rico Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Mississippi Tennessee North Carolina Alabama Georgia South Carolina Florida American Samoa Guam N. Mariana Islands US Virgin Islands Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Pennsylvania Virginia Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Conneticut Rhode Island Massechusetts Massachusetts Connecticut New York New Jersey Maryland Washington DC Delaware Vermont New Hampshire Maine Vermont New Hampshire
Small Map of US States

U.S. States:

AK | AL | AR | AZ | CA | CO | CT | DE | FL | GA | HI | IA | ID | IL | IN | KS | KY | LA | MA | MD | ME | MI | MN | MO | MS | MT | NC | ND | NE | NH | NJ | NM | NV | NY | OH | OK | OR | PA | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VA | VT | WA | WI | WV | WY | Washington D.C. |

U.S. Territories:

Puerto Rico | American Samoa | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands | Virgin Islands

Additional Resources:

Identification and Control:

Subterranean/Dampwood

Drywood

Prevention:

Related Topics:

What are pests?

Learn about a pest

Identify a pest

Control a pest

Integrated Pest Management

What are pesticides?

Herbicides

Disinfectants

Fungicides

Insecticides

Natural and Biological Pesticides

Repellents

Rodenticides

Other types of pesticides

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