Termites are among the most structurally invasive and damaging pests in the Midwest region of the United States. Only one other type of insect rivals them and that is the carpenter ant. Termites feed on wood, and products composed of wood. In the United States, there are four main types of termites. These include the damp wood termites, the Formosan termites, drywood termites, and the subterranean termite. The kind that is most common throughout the State of Indiana are subterranean termites. In this guide, we will provide you with detailed information on the types of termites that are in Indiana and other relevant facts associated with these pests.


Feeding Facts

As stated above, termites feed on wood and/or products that are composed of wood. The digestive tracts of all termites include microorganisms that enable them to convert the substance cellulose that is present inside of the wood to convert into food that is usable for their nutrition. Most termite colonies require an area that is moist to settle and become established. For those classified as “subterranean” termites, the source is moisture is typically the soil. The damp wood termites, typically obtain their moisture from wood that is wet.

Termite Colonies

Many do not realize it, but termites are considered to be highly social insects. They live in colonies. These colonies consist of both a king and a queen, wingless adults or nymphs, (this depends on the type of termite in the colony) and termites that are referred to “soldiers”. There is also “worker” The king termite and the queen termite are responsible for performing the reproductive functions that are necessary for the survival of the colony. The worker termites are responsible for carrying on all of the various activities that are required to maintain the colony. The termites are divided- according to their labor division – as “castes” Each colony has a reproductive caste, a worker caster, and a soldier caste.


It is common for many to be mistaken for ants. In observing a termite, you will find that its antennae are straight and bead-like. The antennae on an ant are bent. The termite abdomen is joined to the thorax and that makes it look as if there is no waist. The ant has a thorax and abdomen that are joined to a narrow pedical. When termites develop wings, both the front wings and the hindwings are of equal size. On an ant, the anterior wings are larger than the posterior wings.

What May Lead to a Termite Infestation?

Research has found that there is a total of 33 different points in and around the home that may be caused by faulty construction or lack of maintenance where termites may enter and infest the structure. These are as follow:

  1. Cracks within the foundation of the home may result in hidden entry points from the underlying soil up to the sill of the windows.
  2. Posts that are placed in concrete in the substructural – based soil. Areas of heightened concern are the frames of the doors to your home.
  3. Wood framing pieces that are in contact with the soil under the slab of concrete of the foundation.
  4. If foam boards are left, termites may start to feed on them.
  5. Leaking pipes and faucets that are dripping may result in immense soil moisture. The same effects occurs when excessive levels of irrigation occur.
  6. Shrubbery that covers vents and disrupts air flow.
  7. Debris that termites use to support their colony may lead in the attack of the superstructure.
  8. Heating units that emit warmth
  9. A foundation wall that is too low will result in the wood contacting soil.
  10. Low footing or soil that is placed near it could result in soil and wood contacting one another. 8 Inches should be between soil and blocks.
  11. The stucco that is carried down and over the foundation allows hidden entrances.
  12. Insufficient clearance for inspections may result in the development of termites building shelter tubes from the soil to the wood.
  13. The crawl space door being composed of wood
  14. Mud sills or even posts that are in direct contact with the soil
  15. Wood siding and/or skirting touching the soil. Wood skirting should be placed 3 inches above soil.
  16. Porch steps being in direct contact with soil as well as other wooden items or components.
  17. Improperly working downspouts.
  18. Improper maintenance of the piers that are placed in the soil.
  19. The wood girder entering the recess wall and/or the foundation wall. These should have free air on either side and be protected with a seal that is impervious to moisture.
  20. Vents placed between the joists, which allow for air to tunnel through the space without providing proper aeration. It is best to place vents in the foundation wall as this improves air circulation.
  21. Porch slabs that are sloped gradients to the home may result in the pooling of water.
  22. Stacked firewood right up against the home.

The Subterranean Termite

As stated previously, Indiana mostly experiences subterranean termites. These are very small insects. The ones that have wings may measure up to 3/8 of an inch. They are dark brown to brown-black. The head is cream-colored and it has jaws and head that are black. The wings are usually some degree of brown. The body is gray. These termites live in the coil in nests that may go as deep as 20 feet. In most cases, the nests will start in old stumps or logs. These creatures live in and obtain their moisture directly from the soil. Any type of wood may be infested by this type of termite.

Pacific Dampwood Termite

This particular termite is the largest species. The winged types could exceed one inch in growth. They are cream-colored but may also be dark brown. There is no worker in this type of termite colony. A high level of moisture is necessary. They tend to go more towards areas that have damp, damaged wood. Once the infestation develops, they may quickly move to good wood in the home. These termites live in the wood that they are are feeding on; they do not live in the soil.

Drywood Termites

These are very rare within the United States. They like dry wood like that found in an attic on the frame. The colonies usually have a couple thousand insects in them. They are known to swarm on days that are warm when the temperature goes up fast.

Formosan Termites

Theses are known as the “super termite”. They originated in China, but they are known found in the United States. They are very aggressive. They also live in colonies of populations up to 350000 insects. These termites build highly intricate mud nests directly in the ground.

Preventing, detecting, and Controlling

To preventing termites, you should ensure that there are no wood that is wet or rotting in or around your home. You should have periodic inspections of your home. When evaluating your own home, be sure to look for signs of wood decay, dampness, and pest infestation. You should also look for piles of wood that resemble saw dust and any dead insects. You should always make sure that your pipes are not leaking and your vent screens are clean. If you are uncomfortable doing this, we here at All Pest in Richmond are capable of assisting you with a home inspection.

If termites are found, the control method will be based on what types of termites you have. If you have dampwood termites, correcting whatever attracted them – such as a leaking pipe- will typically eliminate the infestation. Subterranean termites will need to be eliminated through the use of a chemical treatment; some areas may have the go-ahead to use specially-designed termiticides. Signs that you have these termites are numerous. They include swarming, signs of damage to the home, tapping sounds, shelter mud tubes.

How Much Damage is possible for Termites to Do?

It is a fact that termites eat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means that the damage caused in wood within a structure can increase quickly. It has been estimated that termites result in approximately $5 billion in property damage each and every single year. That is way more than fires, tornadoes, and earthquakes combined. The good news is, that termites may be controlled when you collaborate with a professional pest control technician.

Contact Us Today

In most instances, termites are not covered under homeowner insurance. By contacting us here at All Pest today, you can have your pest problem quickly eliminated. Not only can we pinpoint an infestation, we will know what type of termite you have, and will know what steps to take so that the infestation is eliminated. If you would like to learn more about these types of infestations or you want to set up an appointment for a home inspection and/or pest control, contact us today by calling the following number: 765-259-0043