4 Most Destructive Termite Species You Need to Know About

termites damage home, macro close up termites in anthill

What are the most destructive termite species?

  1. Subterranean termites
  2. Dampwood termites
  3. Formosan termites
  4. Drywood termites


Termites can do serious damage to any building. They get attracted to wood and absorb the cellulose and other nutrients found in it as a means to survive and replicate. The worst part is, you don’t know the damage has already been done because these pests can be unnoticeable. Destructive termite species are the worst kinds of insects for any kind of home that has wooden structures. Knowing what they are, how they look like, and how they reproduce might help you deal with them better.

Not all termites are considered destructive, but there are a few ones that you should look out for, namely subterranean, dampwood, Formosan, and drywood termites. Fortunately, not all termites can be found in the Philippines, as some of them are found in certain North American regions. However, a majority of them are present in Southeast Asian as well as Central Asian locations. Read on to learn more.


Subterranean Termites

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termites are considered to be the most damaging species on this list. Aside from just being altogether too difficult to spot, they feed on wood at all times of the day, which can definitely pose a problem.

In the Philippines, subterranean termites can be further classified into the Coptotermes species that are divided into gestroi, curvignathus, kalshoveni, sepangensis, and gestroi. Although the names are a mouthful, the only thing you need to know about this termite species is that it can create irreparable destruction to your home or building space. In extreme situations, they may even be the cause of structural collapse.

Although subterranean termites themselves may be difficult to spot due to their size and almost translucent appearance, there are certain signs to watch out for in a wooden structure, such as dark spots, hollow areas, or even blisters. If you’re unsure, the best course of action is to contact your local exterminator or pest control services to help you identify the presence of termites.


Dampwood Termites

As their name suggests, dampwood termites like to feed on damp portions of wood that have already rotten due to high moisture content. Compared to the subterranean termites, this species is more easily spotted with the dark brown, almost red-like color of their bodies.

With this in mind, spotting small colonies of dampwood termites might be less of a challenge compared to subterranean ones. You only need to look around your house for signs of rotten wood, such as spore dust, black spots, blisters, damp scent, and the like. Try to identify which parts of your building are more prone to moisture and conduct your assessment from there.

When it comes to dampwood termites — or any kind of termite for that matter — taking preventative action is advisable. In this case, you want to make sure that all wooden structures are well-maintained and are situated in dry locations. You may also apply various wood treatments such as coatings, varnishings, or finishes to protect your wood and prevent the attraction of these termites.


Formosan Termites

Winged individuals of termite

Formosan termites are a termite species that is endemic to Formosa, now modern-day Taiwan, although they are commonly spotted in the country as well. Although they’re oftentimes identified on their own, Formosan termites actually belong under the subterranean species. They’re considered aggressive termites — often referred to as “super termites” — because they feed not only on wood but also other sources of cellulose, that can be found in wallpaper and even flooring.

Most formosan termites may appear similar to flying ants due to their similar bodies and transparent wing appearance. However, you can differentiate them by checking out the antennae and the body shape. Formosan termites tend to have straight antennae while these are usually bent among flying ants. The former also has thicker body proportions compared to the latter.


Drywood Termites

Subterranean termites are often found colonizing below ground, which is uncommon in drywood termites. For the latter, these termites do not need soil for survival, meaning they can burrow in different channels formed in any kind of wooden structure.

Drywood termites may have a different appearance, depending on their stage of development. Like Formosan termites, dampwood termites may eventually develop wings and may be spotted swarming in the affected location. Tell-tale signs of drywood termites may include discarded wings or termite droppings that may form mounds on the exposed wood.


Key Takeaway

In the guide above, you’ve learned some destructive termite species that can be found in the Philippines. As mentioned before, spotting these termites can be a challenge because they often find homes inside wooden structures. This means that the damage may already be beyond repair and will be discovered all too late when the wood has been damaged past the point of recognition.

The best way to ensure that your building doesn’t get affected by termites is to hire a professional pest control service. At Topbest Philippines we handle all kinds of infestations — from termites, cockroaches, flying ants, and many more. Click here to get in touch with us and get a free consultation!