There Are Three Categories of Termites
Although there are 50 different kinds of species of termites found in North America, they will fall under one of the three main termite types:
Each termite species has unique biology and behavior that impact what part of the country they live in, where they build their nests and their likelihood to damage homes.
Subterranean Termites are the most common termite type in the state of Arizona.
Subterranean Termites belong to the family Rhinotermitidae. This species lives in the soil and builds the largest nests of any insect in the U.S. These nests are connected via mud tubes to food sources, such as trees, fence posts and structural timbers in houses. Subterranean termites, which can live in every U.S. state except Alaska, are responsible for the majority of termite damage in this country.
Subterranean Termite Types Across the United States
- Arid-Land Subterranean: West Coast, Southwest, Rocky Mountain States, Midwest, and South
- Desert Subterranean: Southeastern California and Southern Arizona
- Formosan Subterranean: South Alabama, Florida, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee
- Eastern Subterranean: East Coast, Southeast, Midwest, and parts of New England
- Dark Southeastern Subterranean: East Coast: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina
- Western Subterranean: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, and Nevada
Drywood Termites belong to the family Kalotermitidae and typically live in wood, such as dead trees, structural timbers or hardwood floors. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites do not require contact with soil. Some drywood termite species can cause significant damage to homes. However, drywood termite colonies tend to be smaller than subterranean termite colonies, so they typically cause damage at a slower rate than subterranean termites.
Drywood Termite Types Across the United States
- Western Drywood: Southwest Arizona and California
- Southeastern Drywood: South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas
- Desert Drywood: Arizona and Southeastern California
Dampwood Termites belong to the families family Kalotermitidae and Hodotermitidae and live in wood with high moisture content. Most dampwood termites do not require contact with the soil. Dampwood termites are rarely found in homes or other man-made structures, since wood in these structures typically does not have enough moisture.
- Desert Dampwood: Southwest: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California
- Florida Dampwood: South Florida, Florida Keys
- Nevada Dampwood: Nevada, Idaho, and Montana
- Pacific Dampwood: California, Oregon, and Washington