WSU Extension


Wood-Destroying Pests
Carpenter ants
Deathwatch beetles (Anobiids)
Moisture ants
Powderpost beetles
Wood-rotting fungi

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Caption: Dampwood termite worker
Photo by: Ken Gray
(revision date: 7/14/2015)

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful pest management.

There are two native termites in our area: The dampwood termite and the subterranean termite. The dampwood termite lives and feeds in wet or rotting wood. It does not nest in dry sound wood. Dampwood termites are actually an indicator of a prior problem, like wood-soil contact which sets up the ideal habitat for nesting. The dampwood termite is our largest termite, the winged forms (orange brown) being about 3/4 inch long (including wings), while the whitish workers are about 1/2 inch long. Subterranean termites are small. The winged forms are black and about 3/8 inch long (including wings). The workers are grayish white and about 1/4 inch long. This termite lives in the soil and migrates to wood sources. Subterranean termites commonly attack sound wood in homes and can be very damaging. Dampwood termites swarm in late summer or fall especially after rains. The subterranean termites may swarm any time of the year.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Prevention options (Dampwood termite) – do not create conditions conducive to infestation. Pesticides are rarely needed for this termite.
  • Remove formwood (left during construction) from soil around foundation.
  • Avoid wood–soil contact.
  • Ensure good ventilation in crawl space (be sure a vapor barrier is in place).
  • Do not place woodpiles next to house.
  • There are no reliable non-chemical prevention techniques for subterranean termites. Once established, chemical control is usually the only option.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

If you have termites coming from inside or under the house contact a pest management professional.


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Caption: Dampwood termite worker
Photo by: Ken Gray